Sunday, 23 February 2014

Iceland and Glaucous, Peterhead, 22-23 Feb

More images of the long-staying Iceland (upper two images) and Glaucous Gulls at Peterhead; images taken over the weekend of 22-23 Feb.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Glaucous Gull, Peterhead, 19 Feb 2014

This is the bird that has been around for some time; these pics were taken yesterday (19 Feb).

Monday, 10 February 2014

Caspian Gulls in Istanbul

I spent the period 28 Dec 2013 to 8 Jan 2014 in Istanbul. I spent most time in the city, looking at gulls around the fish markets and taking ferries across the Bosphorus. Yellow-legged was the most abundant gull, but there were also many Caspians. Here are some images of Caspian Gulls from the trip. Many many thanks to Dilek Sahin for her help and hospitality during my stay, and to the other Turkish birders I met during my time there. Istanbul is really a great place to watch gulls!

Many gulls follow the ferries and so provide great photo opportunities.

Some flight shots

And finally, a view of one of the boats crossing the Bosphorus.  Fortunately feeding bread to the gulls is very popular, so they follow the boats as they cross back and forth...

Monday, 13 January 2014

A sample of first cycle American Herring Gulls from California.

For some time now I've been meaning to upload a sample of American Herring Gulls, but today I finally got around to it.  So, here they are; I hope they are a useful reference point. All are from California in December 2012-January 2013. They represent a reasonable selection of birds, showing variation in plumage and extent of the post juvenile moult.  In my initial sample I had some birds that, now that I've looked at them again, show some odd traits that make we wonder about some mixed genes; the ones posted here appear okay to my unpracticed eye, but colleagues from USA may spot some which are suspect. I'm keen to learn from these birds, so if you spot some that have traits which suggest a hybrid explanation or take them out of the bounds of what you consider acceptable for smithsonianus, I'd be very pleased to hear and learn why; such discussions are extremely useful for us on this side of the Atlantic.

Something concerns me about the bird above and indeed the bird below, but are they just part of the acceptable variation in smiths?

 This very fresh looking bird with all first generation scapulars sits apart from the rest, but again perhaps it is just from more northerly breeding areas?