Thursday, 14 November 2013

Yellow-legged Gull - Aber Ogwen - 14th November 2013

Yesterday a message appeared saying: 'Richard's Pipit at Aber Ogwen in field south of car park found by H Cook. Flew off tho.'

Ros Green, Chris Bridge and I gave it a go about 1 hour after the original sighting, but there was sadly no sign. When giving up and heading back to the car, Ros noticed a gull flock on the sands and me being me, I couldn't leave them unchecked. I hoped for a white-winger, but a quick scan revealed a very chunky, very dark mantled Lesser Black-backed Gull which was possibly intermedius, but not much else.

A second scan and I noticed a striking 1stw LWHG that instantly stood out to me. It was remarkably long winged with very black primaries and black tertials with a very thin pale border (no pale notching). This contrasted to the grey brown mantle and darker brown coverts. It also had a very white headed appearance with a darker smudge on the ear coverts with a black eye and very black bill. The bill was really chunky with an obvious blob tip. I was pretty happy this was a first winter Yellow-legged Gull, but wanted to see it flap. When it did, it revealed a very white rump and only very slight windows in the inner primaries which helped confirm my suspicions. Note the rubbish post-field sketch below.

Consolation for dipping the Richard's Pipit.


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Gull trumps pipit every time :-)

Seen a couple of those interesting 'intermedius?' types but not this year



Zac Hinchcliffe said...

The Only Way Is Gulling!