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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Iceland Gull............. Fish Quay

Tuesday the 15th February, I wasn't really going to bother going out an other dull day in the offing , but the report of a Glaucous Gull at the Fish Quay North Sheilds and the sun trying to get out  I was off first problem road works at Spanish City took ages to get through then the road by the boating lake was closed ? so I had to work out how to get around and down to the quay. Well got onto the quay a few birders around, told me the Glauc was still around  and 2 minutes later the bird flew past us ,I remarked immediately that it looks more like an Iceland to me just going off its size and the bird not having that fearsome mean  look of  a Glaucous , but then I thought is it a Glaucous but at the smaller end of the range ? it landed briefly and I got some digi shots showing primary projection two toned bill with a slight (very) pale tip, "dark iris". This was at times a rather timid bird landing on the shed roof a couple of times chased off by Herring Gull Juv. I still think this is an Iceland Gull , but looking through the photos on my other posts of Iceland  ,provided I have I.D.'d all those correctly , the head of this bird does not fit the classic form, the bill looks a little long and in my last shot this looks more like Glaucous. When you read up on Gulls structure is to me the hardest  to assess  , but the head does look more rounded, so I'm going for 2nd winter Iceland Gull , iris is supposed to be pale at this age but can eye colour change quickly, not seen any photos with a transitional shade ?. Gulls can do your head in !!!!!!    I have labelled other posts with Iceland featured which were not previously linked.
Any comments welcome  even if it's just to say I'm wrong   !!!

 A very timid bird constantly chased off by other gulls
This shot looks a bit more like a Glaucous Gull


Andrew Kinghorn said...

It's an interesting bird, not seen any white wingers quite like it before.

I am also sure its an Iceland Gull. As you say the bill is fairly small and it looks 'cute' unlike the bully look of the Glaucous. I was reading my Gulls of the World book last night and a good tip it gave was the bill; Iceland a nice smallish bill and Glaucous a big smacking mean bill.

Your flight shots are great, screams Iceland from those. :)

Northumbrian Birding said...

Thanks Andrew ,I read somewhere that in Iceland the primary projection is longer than the bill and Glaucous shorter , I thought this bill was a bit too long but probably in the range.