It has been an extremely quiet autumn for me bird-wise - lots of looking but not much finding. I have not once managed to time a trip to the East coast that coincides with decent conditions for grounded migrants. Other than a few brief views of YBWs, a very brief Sardinian Warbler and another self found Ring-billed Gull (in Dublin, of course), decent birds have been conspicuous by their absence.
Today I managed to squeeze in an hour or so at Seafield and the best I could manage was my first Scandinavian Herring Gull of this coming winter season. This bird had very little black in its wing-tip compared to our breeding birds and an upperpart shade that is darker. In the shot of it on the shore it can be seen that it is obviously darker than the accompanying Black-headed Gulls. Note that P10 is still growing on this bird and that P9 shows no back extending to the web - ie a thayeri pattern. More often, in my experience, these northern gulls keep their distance and seeing these details can be tricky. This one today treated me to a nice flypast.
|Scandinavian Herring Gull standing in water to right of roosting BhGs|