|Second-summer Yellow-legged Gull - a typical individual.|
|A different bird of the same age - note, for example, the different covert and tertial patterns.|
- European Herring Gull: the most numerous species by a nautical mile. Today's gathering included what looked like a very worn, darker-mantled 3cy argentatus-type, but with pale yellowish legs.
- Lesser Black-backed Gull: the second most numerous species, mainly comprising graellsii types but occasional darker presumed intermedius or so-called Dutch intergrade birds. Interesting colour rings noted on three individuals from different schemes - more news soon I hope.
- Yellow-legged Gull: of the 29 present, 3cy was the commonest age class.
- Black-headed Gull: initially 39 in one area, but numbers built during the morning to 100+, mainly on the wing catching flying insects.
- Great Black-backed Gull: five individuals at most.
- Caspian Gull: three today - my highest summer count. A small adult, presumably female, was seen well at close range, and there were at least two 3cy birds.
- Mediterranean Gull: sometimes difficult to get on the Inner Thames in summer, I was delighted to pick this species up on call while driving past a large group of hawking Black-headeds. On inspection, there proved to be three individuals - two pristine breeding adults and a hooded 2cy bird.
- Common Gull: rarest of the rare in midsummer, just one 2cy bird present briefly before flying off.
|A grab shot of a flying Yellow-legged Gull to show the distinctive combination of ash-grey saddle and blackish tail band below white rump and uppertail. Again, note the more adult-like bill.|
* * STOP PRESS * * After my Thames session this morning, news broke of a Bonaparte's Gull upriver at Crossness sewage outfall. A superb discovery by Mike Robinson, it represents just the third London record and could relate to one of the two 2cy individuals seen there in spring 2012. Well done Mike!