Saturday, 22 November 2008

Northerly winds = ???

With the wind in the north and a definite chill in the air there is the distinct possiblity of 'white winged' gulls. Sorry about the poor quality of the photos, they are photographed from slides projected on the wall. The first shows a young 'cafe-au-lait' coloured young Iceland Gull. You can see there is no black in the wingtips. This one I got at the ornamental lake of an hotel in Blackpool a few years ago.
This is the same bird sat on the water. Although further away than the two Herring Gulls in the foreground you can see that it is about the same size but a little slighter. They can turn up anywhere where there are lots of gulls; places like docks, lakes and reservoirs and rubbish dumps either on the coast or inland.
This big brute is a Glaucous Gull, just about as big and bulky as a Great Black Backed Gull, much bigger than the Icelands. This one is an adult - not my picture but again photographed off a projected slide.

You are much less likely to find these inland and are overall less numerous than Icelands, this is certainly true in Lancashire, where they are decidely coastal.
So if you get out into your chilly outback keep an eye out for these white winged beauties hiding in amongst the other 'regular' gulls.
Where to next? Two jumpers on and out into the cold; but are there any Waxwings about and where did the Ross's Goose go?
In the meantime let us know what you have found in your it tropical, warm, temperate, cold or downright freezing- - - - anyone from Churchill out there with Polar Bears (apparently recorded once in the UK - in Shetland about 1750ish) in their back garden?

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