The Safari invites you to have a look at these gull pics sent to us last night by LC from one of his local sites in the Midlands - he didn't say which one. At first glance it looks like a Ring Billed Gull - good find!
The keen eyed and laroholics amongst you will already have spotted it's not quite right for a Ring Billed Gull but what is it. It's mantle is far too dark and look at that tertial crescent way too wide for an RBG.
The pics aren't up to his usual standard, not sure why perhaps his scope was being blown around by a gale so it doesn't make IDing it particularly easy.
We thought we could make out a bit of red on the gonys on the original full size pics and suggested a small 4th winter Yellow Legged Gull but what about the smaller and slighter, and with perhaps with a better marked bill, Armenian Gull - go on admit it how many of you have never head of Armenian Gulls or at least until Collins ed2 came out? Here some good pics from the superb Ma'agan Michael fish ponds in Israel - wish we'd known about all these different species of gulls when we were studying the waders there way back in 1978, our notes just says Herring and Lesser Black Back Gulls!
No it's not an Armenian Gull - shame - it's something even more odd ball. Apparently it's a hybrid but between what do you imagine? It's possibly a cross between Ring Billed Gull and a Lesser Black Back Gull a bird that was seen in the same general area last year - weird or what. Pound to a penny you didn't get it, we certainly wouldn't have come up with that combo. How on earth did they get to hook up - is there any evidence for it in North America where Lesser Black Backs are starting to spread quite widely? Common Gull might be the more a more natural thought but obviously the RBG didn't think so, maybe they aren't as closely related as they look, but it has happened! Or is it that gulls are just the new ducks?
So there you go a few minutes of your time wasted on a load of waffle about some really iffy pics. Fun weren't it! If you have anything to add please do.
Nothing to report from Patch 2 or anywhere else in Safari-land for that matter.
Where to next? No early Patch 2 visit tomorrow morning and not sure about lunchtime either.
In the meantime let us know what's making a mess of the sensor on the cameras in your outback.