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Friday, 30 September 2011

Record-breaking late September temperatures

Temperatures in the south of Britain today reached a sweltering 82 degrees f - the hottest end of September temperatures since records began.........

Despite flying south between Whitley Bay (Northumberland) and Whitby (North Yorks) during yesterday, there has been no reports today of Aberdeenshire's adult Sandhill Crane. About 25 observers were lucky to intercept the bird yesterday as it made slow progress, although it did thwart many others by making the wrong turns......

With upwards now of 130 observers on Shetland, rarities being discovered there are increasing on a daily basis. Although the adult Lesser Grey Shrike and an Alpine Swift seen at Laxo have now moved on, and the Great Snipe of last night between North and South Voxter, today still saw the first-winter BLACK-HEADED BUNTING at Belmont House garden on Unst (and Bluethroat at Northdale, Red-backed Shrike at Haroldswick and Barred Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler and Common Rosefinch on the island), 3 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS briefly at Loch of Hixter and a Red-backed Shrike at Sumburgh Head, whilst juvenile PALLID HARRIERS included one on Fetlar near Wick of Gruting and two in the Quendale Burn area. Foula has NORTH AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT and BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, following a three-dayer juvenile YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING during the week.

Compare this with the 16 or so observers now on Scilly, enjoying 4 juvenile BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS, a juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER and a GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK on the Airfield, the juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS on Porthmellon Beach, a juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER on Lower Moors, a scattering of 4 WRYNECKS and a mobile BLACK KITE on St Mary's. Tresco still has 6 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS.

GLOSSY IBISES are arriving on cue, with singles today on the Ogmore Estuary in Glamorgan on the pond by the Watermill public house and at Priory Marsh, Stanpit, in Christchurch Harbour (Dorset). Two GREAT WHITE EGRETS have also been moving along the South Coast, today flying over Pennington Marshes (Hampshire).

A couple of LITTLE BUNTINGS were trapped and ringed today on Lundy Island (North Devon) and Spurn Point (East Yorks) respectively, with a HOOPOE at Stonebarrow Hill, east of Charmouth (Devon) (SY 384 933) and a RED-BACKED SHRIKE remaining at Lodmoor (Dorset).

A juvenile PALLID HARRIER has been performing well in Somerset for a third day, 3 miles NE of Cheddar at Black Down, west of the trig point at ST 485 572, whilst a BLACK KITE still remains in the Drift Reservoir area (West Cornwall).

Juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS remaining include singles on the Ythan Estuary (Aberdeenshire) (at the north end, near the fishing cabins), Lower Pennington Marshes (Hampshire) (on the Jetty Lagoon) and on the Axe Estuary at Coronation Corner, Seaton (South Devon), with a lingering BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER on the Isle of Sheppey at Elmley Marshes RSPB (North Kent) and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at Grove Ferry (Kent), Hornsea Mere (East Yorks), Marazion (West Cornwall), Weir Wood Reservoir (Sussex) and Saltholme Pools (Cleveland). Both BUFF-BREAST and PEC are to be found in Cumbria, NE of Arnside on the Kent Estuary at Carr Bank, whilst a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER remains for a second day at Freiston Shore RSPB (Lincs). New in today was a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER on Musselburgh Lagoons (Lothian) and 2 DOTTERELS at Polgigga (West Cornwall)..

The long-staying juvenile AMERICAN BLACK TERN continues to show well for admirers at Covenham Reservoir (North Lincs), with a GREAT WHITE EGRET at Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB (Cheshire), a drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK in the Walgrave Arm of Pitsford Reservoir (Northants) and a flock of 28 SPOONBILLS on Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour (Dorset). In Scotland, the drake AMERICAN BLACK SCOTER remains off Blackdog Beach (Aberdeenshire).

In IRELAND, reports today included that of the juvenile SEMIPALMATED PLOVER in Ventry Bay (Co. Kerry), the juvenile LEAST SANDPIPER at Carrahane Strand (Co. Kerry), two adult WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS on The Mullet at Blacksod (Co. Mayo) on Trawmore Beach and a juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER at Cromane (Co. Kerry) (the latter the latest in over 50 individuals discovered this autumn)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Aberdeenshire SANDHILL CRANE is on the move southwards..........




Adult Sandhill Crane, Strathbeg RSPB, Aberdeenshire, September 2011 (Ron Marshall)


The adult SANDHILL CRANE that spent much of last week in Aberdeenshire at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB is now on the move southwards. It is continuing down the Northumberland coast as I write, flying over the Ash Lagoons at Newbiggin at 0908 and drifting slowly SW over Blyth not long thereafter

With a light southeasterly breeze blowing, it may well head inland from South Gare rather than continue along the Yorkshire coast if it continues to make headway rather than stopping off to feed or rest

This may well be the first opportunity to see this species in North Norfolk if it decides to follow an easterly route or on Scilly or over Portland Bill if it decides on a more westerly direction. Either way, could be a pretty exciting next few weeks trying to second-guess its next outposts !

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

And a LEAST SANDPIPER in close-up

See http://www.nature-shetland.co.uk/naturelatest/pics11/Larry-Dalziel-IMG_5669-ss1.jpg

This juvenile has now been present on Foula (Shetland) for over a week. The island now lays claim to a juvenile YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING - a very rare vagrant in Britain these days......

RED-EYED VIREO on Barra



John Bell obtained this image at Breivig on Barra as the bird was trapped and ringed

LEAST SANDPIPER in KERRY - an interesting individual (by CIARAN CRONIN)







I need to learn a bit more about these guys, and have no experience of either lLEAST SANDPIPER or LONG-TOED STINT. While I'm pretty happy with the identification as a LEAST SANDPIPER, I'd like to raise a couple of points out of interest.
1) The bird shows very clearly that the dark crown extends to the bill base,breaking the supercilium - supposedly a feature for Long toed.

2) It also shows whitish fringed wing coverts contrasting somewhat with rufous edged scapulars - again apparently a feature for long toed.

3) The call, heard a number of times this morning was clearly a monosyllabic sound, which I rendered as 'prit' - not similar to other descriptions read.

4) In flight there appeared to be a hint of toes projecting beyond tail, although this was very difficult to be sure of - if present a feature for Long toed.

The bill is clearly solidly dark, including base of lower mandible - a LEAST feature. The shape did not remind me of Wood Sandpiper, rather a small furtive Temminck's Stint, and the tibiae did not seem particularly long.

On balance, I'm quite happy that the bird is indeed a Least Sandpiper, particularly on shape, leg length and bill colour. An absolutely superb find, and a truly fantastic bird. However, I thought it worthwhile raising these features so I can be educated, and just as a reminder that the features may not be as consistent as we would like, and the books might suggest!

Might have some better shots later when I learn how to use my camera - dashing out the door now into a lovely, wonderfully misty Galley Head!!!

Ciaran Cronin

Southerly winds set for the week.........

This week is said to be dominated by warm southerly winds - in fact hinting at ''Indian Summer'' conditions, with temperatures expected to climb to a sweltering 84 degrees by Friday !

It has been Nearctic waders continuing to make the headlines - and none so newsworthy as BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS. Killian Mullarney recorded an incredible 26 birds at the East End of Tacumshin wetlands (County Wexford) yesterday, increasing by 3 the previous day's record totals. This joins the 40 or more seen in Britain in recent weeks, those still around including juveniles on St Mary's Airfield, St Mary's (Scilly) (still 4 of the original 8 remaining), Sennen (West Cornwall) (2 birds), Slimbridge Dumbles (Gloucs), Carr Bank, Arnside (Lancs), Bornish, South Uist (Outer Hebrides) (2 birds), North Ronaldsay (Orkney) and at Eshaness (Shetland). Ricard Guttierez also informed me of an exceptional 11 birds in the Ebro Delta, Tarrragona, SPAIN, whilst at least 35 have appeared elsewhere in the WP in the past month)

The juvenile SOLITARY SANDPIPER still remains on Lower Moors, St Mary's (now with the juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS in tow), whilst further juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS include singles at Drift Reservoir and on the Tresilian River at Tresemple Pool (SW 853 439) at Truro (West Cornwall) and ENE of Glasson (Lancs) on the south side of the Lune Estuary at the mouth of the River Conder.

It has also been a record year for SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS with juveniles at Saarasta Beach, Northton (Harris, Outer Hebrides), Slimbridge Dumbles (Gloucs) and Lower Pennington Marshes (Hampshire) (following another at Cliffe Pools Flamingo Pool, Kent, on Sunday), whilst current SPOTTED SANDPIPERS include an adult at Chew Valley lake Herriott's Bridge (Avon) and juveniles at Lydney Harbour (Gloucs) and at the north end of the Plym Estuary, Marsh Mills, Plymouth (South Devon). At least 15 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS also remain around the country none so entertaining nor approachable as the ridiculously tame juvenile on Crookham Common Pools, Greenham Common (Berkshire). AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS include a juvenile on St Mary's (Scilly) and an adult in Gwent at West Usk, with two juveniles together on Barra (Outer Hebrides), whilst the two juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS remain respectively at Baron's Haugh RSPB (Clyde) and at the southern (Carnmenellis) causeway at Stithians Reservoir (Cornwall)..

As is usual in late September, all attention focuses on the Isles of Scilly and on the Northern Isles. Thus far it has been Scilly's swing, following the succession of East Coast USA hurricanes, although now the only showstopper left being the slightly-more showy NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH on the newly created Higginson Pool at Lower Moors. A RED-EYED VIREO also remains in tamarisks in this area. Other than rare waders and the two former-mentioned ;'stars', the archipelago harbours an ORTOLAN BUNTING at the north end of the island near Maypole, the odd WRYNECK, a long-staying first-summer WOODCHAT SHRIKE by the airport terminal buildings and a very elusive ICTERINE WARBLER in Lower Moors.

At the opposite end of the country, and following the departure SOUTHBOUND of the weekend's adult SANDHILL CRANE from Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire) yesterday morning, John Bell and others have the RED-EYED VIREO on Barra at Breivig and the 90 or so twitchers/birdfinders currently scouring Shetland have thus far amassed an adult LESSER GREY SHRIKE SE of Laxo, a RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER, several NORTHWESTERN REDPOLLS and a usual scattering of Common Rosefinches, Yellow-browed Warblers and Barred Warblers. North Ronaldsay has certainly been scoring points and featuring prominently this autumn, both a NORTH AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT and first-winter CITRINE WAGTAIL remaining yesterday (as well as a GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK, PEC SAND and commoner scarce passage migrants), whilst the observers on Fair Isle are still watching LITTLE BUNTING, CITRINE WAGTAIL, MELODIOUS WARBLER, ROSE-COLOURED STARLING and GREAT GREY SHRIKE.

The record influx of juvenile PALLID HARRIERS continues unabated with at least one still on Shetland Mainland quartering the Hillwell area, another on North Ronaldsay, the richly-coloured bird by the hide at The Loons RSPB reserve on Orkney Mainland, the bird on Mull at Fidden (Argyll) and the very popular bird hunting the game strip every two hours just NNE of Burpham village near Arundel (West Sussex).

SABINE'S GULLS left over from the 'wreck' include the two brother or sister combination at Sturt Pond, Milford-on-Sea (Hampshire) and two juveniles off Exmouth Beach (South Devon), whilst the very distinct adult AZOREAN-TYPE ATLANTIC GULL continues to roost each evening at Stewartby Lake (Bedfordshire). In North Lincolnshire, the juvenile NORTH AMERICAN BLACK TERN continued to afford excellent views.

A juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING is also at Fidden on Mull (Argyll), with about 10 WRYNECKS scattered about the country, an exceptional juvenile BARRED WARBLER in East India Dock (Central London) yesterday and juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKES at Frinton-on-Sea (Essex), Lodmoor (Dorset) and Sharkham Point (South Devon).

At least one BLACK KITE remains in West Cornwall, frequenting the Polgigga area, but EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARDS continue to be particularly few in number.

IRELAND has seen some of its most entertaining and productive birding in its history this autumn with an outstanding list of rare waders to its name: the juvenile SEMIPALMATED PLOVER remained at Ventry Harbour, WSW of Dingle (Co. Kerry) until 1040 hours yesterday morning whilst nearby, a confiding LEAST SANDPIPER crawled about the tidal dykes and ditches at Carrahane Strand (Co. Kerry). Juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS include up to four together at Sruhill Lough, Achill Island (Co. Mayo), two at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) and at Ballinskelligs (Co. Kerry) of no less than 36 recorded this autumn, with AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS at Portagovie/Kirkistown (Co. Down) and Black Rock Strand (Co. Kerry). An adult BONAPARTE'S GULL remains at Blennerville Marsh. Many BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS are still to be found too and most likely the HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL at Mizen Head (Co Cork).

And contrary to a previous comment of mine, the INDIAN HOUSE CROW is still in Cobh Harbour (Co. Cork) and not stowed away to Cyprus !!

BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS at Tacumshin - Killian makes it 26 !!

Having spent a good part of yesterday birding at Tacumshin I was surprised by the apparent absence of Buff-breasts at any of the spots they normally tend to be found. It wasn't until I was heading back to the east end in the late afternoon that I first glimpsed the flock, circling around in the distance almost above the east end channel. It was clearly a substantial flock, but when I got a bit closer and scanned the area I could see only six birds, the rest presumably being hidden in a dense swathe of Sea Aster. After a while three more emerged into view, but it wasn't until something spooked them that another bunch suddenly jumped up from the back of the Aster and joined the nine out front. I counted carefully (there were some Ringed Plover and a Dunlin or two among them) and reached a total of 22 birds, including one with an injured leg; all were juveniles. Then a single bird flew in from the left and joined them, so it seemed that the full complement of the previous day's record flock of 23 was still present.Within a minute or two they started to spread out, with the majority melting back into the Aster to become invisible again. I hoped they might all get up once more, as it was when they were in the air that the size of the flock was most impressive. After about 15 minutes they suddenly took off and flew directly away, toward the east end pool, before banking right over Sigginstown island and then turning back, passing me at very close range before they disappeared westwards, against the sun. I took a series of photos as they did so, the last few being a hopeless blur.

It wasn't until late last night that I had a chance to check the photos. I must have missed a few birds when I counted them on the deck as when I exclude the single Dunlin and two Ringed Plovers in their midst, the total number of Buff-breasts in the photos is 26!

With the addition of two Semipalmated Sandpipers, a White-rumped and an American Golden Plover the number of American waders present at Tacumshin yesterday was at least 31 birds. Kerry has had the quality in the past few days, but Tacumshin has the quantity!

Killian Mullarney

Sunday, 25 September 2011

BUFF-BREAST gathering breaks new record

Although Tacumshane Lake in County Wexford, SE Ireland, is undoubtedly one of the best birding sites in Britain and Ireland, mainly because of the quality of the habitat and its vast expanse, today saw no less than 23 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS counted - the largest congregation ever recorded on this side of the Atlantic. The previous record was of 16 individuals on St Mary's, Scilly, in September 1976.

Most likely due to the succession of Tropical Storms or hurricanes tracking NE along the Eastern Seaboard and out to sea during the past few weeks, both Britain and Ireland are experiencing one of the best autumns for Nearctic waders for decades with impressive numbers of up to 14 species being recorded - including normally much scarcer species such as Least Sandpiper, Hudsonian Whimbrel, Greater Yellowlegs and Semipalmated Plover. Never has there been a better time to find that WILLET.........

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Digitalwildlife.co.uk - Superb images by RICHARD FORD













The Burpham juvenile PALLID HARRIER - see much more of Richard Ford's excellent work at www.Digitalwildlife.co.uk

The Year of the PALLID HARRIER



......And the most watched and photographed of them all - the juvenile in the Burpham area of West Sussex (Richard Ford)





















































The juvenile that spent two days in Essex at St Osyth Marshes and Colne Point (Stephen Allen)















No less than 3 different juvenile PALLID HARRIERS have reached Shetland this autumn, including this splendid individual in the Hillwell area captured beautifully on film by Dougie Preston

Grafham Water's Double-Bill





























































Mike Lawrence was able to savour the delights of both the adult SABINE'S GULL and first-winter GREY PHALAROPE as they fed literally just inches from each other on Grafham Water's dam all last week











WEST CORNWALL did well too































Penwith birder BRIAN FIELD managed these beautiful images of Drift Reservoir's recent juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS.........

The Star of the Scilly show - bah humbug !



Ashley Powell captured the Lower Moors first-winter female BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER in bright sunlight.......shame it did such a premature departure

Scilly's Purple Patch




































































































Robin Mawer has been kept busy during the past week photographing rarity after rarity as it appeared on St Mary's - the Newford Duck Pond SOLITARY SANDPIPER and BLUE-WINGED TEAL, Borough Farm BEE-EATER and Garrison BALTIMORE ORIOLE.....










Pennington BAIRD'S SANDPIPER



The recent juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPER on the Fishtail Lagoon at Pennington Marshes in Hampshire (Simon Knight)






































This very confiding juvenile AMERICAN BLACK TERN was still present at Covenham Reservoir today
- this species becoming virtually annual in recent years. Graham Catley obtained these excellent flight shots.



Nearctic beach plover lay undetected in West Ireland

Dan Brown and other members of the so-called ''Punkbirder'' crew fully clinched the identification of a juvenile SEMIPALMATED PLOVER in west IRELAND today 4.5 miles WSW of Dingle (County Kerry) at the south end of Ventry Harbour on the beach just north of the southern stream mouth. The bird was showing very well and was photographed this afternoon by Michael O'Keefe and was also seen by a number of Kerry birders including Maurice Hanafin and Jill Crosher.(information per Ed Carty).

Rare Nearctic waders continue to dominate the IRISH headlines with a bag of juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS still to be seen, including two at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) and two at Blennerville Marsh (Co. Kerry), as well as numerous BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS (4 at Tacumshin still, another 4 between Newbridge and Kildare amongst European Golden Plovers on Curragh Racecourse, Co. Kildare, and 2 at Truska Marsh, Ballyconneelly, Co. Galway), a juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER (and juvenile Dotterel) at Truska Marsh and the HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Mizen Head (Co. Cork). Other highlights include the continuing juvenile PALLID HARRIER at Tacumshin and a female BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Inch Lake on Lough Swilly (Co. Donegal).

On the Isles of Scilly today, the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH commuted between the St Mary's Dump Clump Project Pool and the main Lower Moors pools in front of the ISBG hide but was always very elusive, whilst the juvenile SOLITARY SANDPIPER remained at the Project Pool, just one BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER on the Airfield, the first-summer WOODCHAT SHRIKE by the Airfield and an ORTOLAN BUNTING there also. The Black-and-White Warbler and Baltimore Oriole departed midweek.

In the far Northwest, on the Outer Hebrides, Barra's RED-EYED VIREO was trapped and ringed today at Brevig.

As well as in Ireland, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and other Nearctic waders appeared in numbers in Britain today with new juvenile SEMI-P's being discovered in South Devon (on the Axe Estuary north of Seaton at Black Hole Marsh) and in Hampshire (at Pennington Marshes' Shoveler Pond), an adult SPOTTED SANDPIPER on the Herriott's Bridge causeway at Chew Valley Lake (Avon) and a juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS ENE of Glasson (Lancs) on the south side of the Lune Estuary at the mouth of the River Conder (at SO 454 562) (both LESSER YELLOWLEGS remained in West Cornwall, at Drift Reservoir and Tresilian River, Truro, respectively, and the juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPERS at the north end of the Plym Estuary in Plymouth, South Devon, and at Lydney, Gloucs). A sprinkling of BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS included the Thornwick Bay, Flamborough (East Yorks), bird again, whilst an adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was to be seen at Uskmouth Lighthouse (Gwent) and a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER at Llanrhidian Marsh. Both juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS remain at Baron's Haigh RSPB (Clyde) and Stithians Reservoir (Cornwall) respectively

The deluge of juvenile PALLID HARRIERS continues, breaking all previous records, with a new bird at Cliffe Pools RSPN (North Kent) this afternoon joining at least two different birds on Shetland, a confiding bird at The Loons RSPB (Orkney), another on Mull (Argyll) at Fidden, Moss and the most observed of all still just NNE of Burpham (West Sussex) at The Burgh already on the list.

The light SE winds this afternoon bought in a nice ARCTIC WARBLER to the East Coast - showing well in bushes and scrub ENE of the boardwalk at Burnham Overy Dunes (North Norfolk) - whilst on Shetland, the GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH at West manse garden, Fetlar, replaced the attraction of yesterday's South Mainland Swainson's Thrush on the archipelago.

Over 40 twitchers made the long trip north to Aberdeenshire overnight and were rewarded with early morning views of the adult SANDHILL CRANE at Strathbeg RSPB, the bird continuing to show throughout the day until it decided to fly south at 1613 hours. Not that far away to the south, the adult drake NORTH AMERICAN BLACK SCOTER remained with Common Scoter off Murcar Beach.

The juvenile AMERICAN BLACK TERN continues at Covenham Reservoir in North Lincolnshire, with both juvenile SABINE'S GULLS still lingering at Sturt Pond, Milford-on-Sea (Dorset) (the long-staying adult at Grafham Water, Cambs, departed this morning).

Many Yellow-browed Warblers are now moving through Shetland, along with Common Rosefinches and the odd Barred Warbler, whilst at least 1 AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT and 1 CITRINE WAGTAIL remain on North Ronaldsay (Orkney). A GREAT SNIPE is still lingering on Fair Isle. A juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING is at Land's End (West Cornwall), whilst juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKES are appearing in small numbers (with singles on Tresco, Scilly, and at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, Kings Hall at Herne Bay, East Kent and in Dorset) and WRYNECKS with more frequency than in recent weeks.

Bedfordshire's apparent adult AZOREAN ATLANTIC GULL failed to appear in the Stewartby lake roost this evening, perhaps due to the increase in water ski-ing and speedboat racing today.

Also intriguingly, there was no sign of Cobh's INDIAN HOUSE CROW today; Dave Carter found and photographed the first-ever on Cyprus on Thursday !

AZOREAN ATLANTIC-TYPE GULL at Stewartby Lake






















Martin Palmer obtained these flight record images of the Stewartby Lake bird on Thursday evening.


The bird did not appear in the roost this evening - just two adult CASPIAN GULLS.....











AZOREAN ATLANTIC GULLS - a gallery of November adults













Richard Bonser has very kindly emailed me these images taken of adult AZOREAN ATLANTIC GULLS in the Azorean archipelago in November.


These three individuals show how variable the head streaking can be. You can see the rather heavy appearance of this species with proportionally shorter legs than michahellis, and the much paler iris than a typical michahellis. There is a substantial amount of black in the outer primaries, more so than in michahellis (though P4 is meant to often show a subterminal band but obviously there's no spread wing shots here). Also interesting to note how dark the mantle colour is compared to the LBB Gull in the lower shot.


The current Bedfordshire bird does share some of the characteristics apparent in these images, although the leg colour is very different (much duller).