Sunday, 19 February 2012

the early moults of Black-headed Gulls (again!)

to run a blog on gulls, you do have to be  a bit obsessional. And it's probably fair to say I have been a bit obsessional over seeing summer-plumaged Black-headed Gulls in February! Wellm you'll all be excessively pleases to know I saw another in Stratford-upon Avon over school half-term! Basically, between 1-5% of Black-headed have full summer plumage before the end of February, making them regular but still unusual, and when you're stuck away from a landfill, sewage farm, reservoir or coast and in the middle of some horrible corner of suburbia, they can be one of the few reminders of the wonderful world of gulls, which is why I love them dearly!

(Black-headed Gull, © Michael Booker)

I thought my first date of 13 February was impressive, but then I found this photo on a friend's blog, and discovered I'd been beaten by two weeks! Michael Booker took this photo on 28 January in Hampshire. To see more of his photos and his blog click on his name above or go to the 'photographers' page on the right-hand side. 

In other BREAKING NEWS, I've just heard of a potential first Caspian Gull for Wales. The main surprise is that it's the first Caspian Gull for Wales! On a quick google search I found one other report from 13 Oct 2011, though as no photo was taken the finder did not, I believe, submit a description. I find it bizarre that Caspian Gull should be so rare in Wales, but then again many areas are underwatched and birds must surely be overlooked. I'll be interested to hear the fate of this bird...

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