Newhaven Herring Gulls

 

Myself, Laurence Pitcher and Phil Saunders spent the entire day looking for Caspian Gulls in three sites surrounding Beachy Head. Unbelievably we saw none. Not even a Yellow Leg. So our final destination – NewHaven Harbour, became a photo shoot for the obliging local Herring Gulls.

The first bird below is a 4/5cy Herring Gull showing a dark tertial mark. This is apparently extremely rare in European Herring Gulls. Its common Place across the Atlantic in the Smithsonianus birds but very rare in Argenteus. 

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(of course and unfortunatley, not a reliable feature, so no suggestion thats what it is!)

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Above, the same bird from the other side, showing a fainter patch but still mirrored on the equivalent tertial.

Below an adult Argenteus Herring showing a darker iris. This was actually inconsistent and the lefthand iris was pale. Often an eye catching bird amongst the others though, almost reminiscent of a small Caspian gull.. but i’m not in the mood for the mention of hybrids…

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A Dark 1cy Herring, with milky pale fringes to tertials was quite striking in the field.

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I’ve recently been getting alot out of photographing 2nd and 3rd winter Herrings. Birds in these variable plumages can be really beautifully put together. I did have a few for you to look at but should try and keep Gull pictures to a minimum and this one is the best looking.

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actually heres a few more…

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