Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Hybrid Herring x Lesser Black-backed Gull in Edinburgh

Probably the best shot showing the ring on the right leg - palish yellow legs and mid-toned grey uppers

Hybrid gulls... By looking closely at the gulls of Edinburgh and Lothian over the last couple of years I've seen quite a few probable Herring x LBB Gulls without yet connecting with a YLG or Caspo. I was seriously considering making 2014 a hybrid-gull-free year by taking a beak from the search for southern European larids in and around Edinburgh. Well, what do you know, a hybrid argentatus x fuscus seems to have taken a shine to the grassy pitch outside my office window in Merchiston. It has been there for the last two mornings, but has disappeared before the light has been good enough for decent photographs. Even with my DSLR on hand this morning the shots are poor. Both days I have seen it in direct comparison with Herring Gulls and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull. Its mid-tone mantle and upperwing plus yellow legs are distinctive. Excitingly the bird is ringed on its right leg - although it will take a miracle to get close enough for a ring read I would imagine.

Hybrid HerringxLBB Gull on right with Herring Gull
A poor shot in the low light levels - but the wing-tip pattern can just about be discerned - a narrow band on P5 and typical pattern for hybrid

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