Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Tats Not Mich

I was itching after a 1st-winter michahellis for a while yesterday after finding a 'candidate' gull loafing on the Tyne amongst several hundred large gulls. Much of the plumage looked good, black bill with a hint of a pale tip, white-headed with a dark mask behind the eye and a whitish snout, overall appearance was four-colour toned, scapulars were solid with  only narrowish pale edgings, black primaries and a neat black tail-band with largely un-marked undertail coverts, just a few dark spots; upper tail too relatively clean.

On the negative side the bill looked thinner and weaker than 'classic' and the head-shape wasn't too good and if it was a mich it was a small-ish one. In comparison to all other 1st-winter 'Herring Gulls' present (probably c.120) this was a much cleaner, whiter individual that stood out. More homework this morning though, provided a better visual match both in terms of structure and plumage amongst Hans Larsson's 1st-winter argentatus from Sweden. albeit they were taken a month further on in the calendar year.

Apart from an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull the only other interest was another argentatus this time doing it's best 3rd-winter pseudo-smiths impression. (see final image)

 Lying argentatus

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