|First-calendar-year Lesser Black-backed Gull of the subspecies intermedius. This individual was ringed as a chick in north-east Denmark in June this year. Note the new first-winter mantle and scapular feathers.|
I found the above first-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull on 16 November on the Thames at Rainham, and was immediately struck by its unusually pale head and underparts contrasting with darker upperparts. Only after I started photographing it did I realise it was sporting a smart blue colour ring. I've seen blue-ringed Lesser Black-backeds from the Low Countries here before so forwarded details to a scheme there, only to be told it was in fact a Danish ring.
|V.MOL reveals a rather strongly barred rump and uppertail, among other features.|
UPDATE Today (26 November) I found V.MOL again at the same site - remarkably among thousands of gulls in the area - and it was within 100 m of where I first saw it 10 days ago! It spooked quickly but I managed to fire off this shot to show the underwing pattern, something I wasn't able to observe last time.
|Ten days later, here is colour-ringed intermedius V.MOL again, showing off the axillary and underwing pattern.|