Thursday, 16 December 2010

First year Common Gull with barred axillaries

This young Common Gull came into the garden a couple of days ago. I was hoping it was going to be the smoky-tailed individual seen on the 8th December, or even the less smoky-tailed individual seen on the same date, but although it had a reasonably heavily spotted rump it was yet another different individual. This latest bird had a less smoky tail but a nicely broad subterminal tail band and intriguingly barred axillaries (armpits!). I have not seen this feature on any of the other 1CY birds observed so far.

1 comment:

welchs said...

You will be aware per Olsen p74 that henei may have barred axillaries, no mention of this for canus? But overall henei underwing should be paler and have more contrasting dark edges to coverts; hard to tell on your pics, given lighting effects, but does not look that pale? At Seton had a couple of large and generally dark 1st-win on Friday but did not scutinise carefully enough for required details on coverts, neither photos. Tonight 4 ads in 600 birds had strong hoods whilst this is said by some to be rare in west of UK*; however, I see nothing in Olsen about geographical variation of this feature, even considering henei, though kamtschatschensis is obviously generally dark in head and breast sides (but no hood); lots to learn I guess but also so much individual variation even in small gulls that it is difficult to draw any useful or water-tight conclusions on a given bird...