Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Larus Agentatus Argenteus

Larus Agentatus Argenteus

Larus Agentatus Argentatus

Larus Agentatus Argentatus

Larus Agentatus Argentatus

Argentatus and Argenteus 2nd winter (3rd calender year) herring gulls

The photos above are of 2 herring gulls that are of the same age but are very different in appearance. I took them on saturday 23rd feb at Prescot reservoirs.The top 2 are of the british sub species argenteus and the bottom 3 are of the northern european sub species argentatus. The main difference between them is that the mantle and scapulars are mostly an adult-like pale grey on the argenteus at this age giving it a saddled appearance but the argentatus looks almost like a first winter as its mantle and scapulars have moulted through with anchor markings on them. The pale iris and rounded primary tips age it as a second winter. Argenteus also shows a broad dark tail band and less streaking on the head and neck. The wing coverts and tertials are very pale and have a contrasting pattern on the argentatus. The argentatus also looks a bigger bird, more fierce looking, longer legged and more attenuated at the rear with a longer primary projection. Also note the tail pattern on the argentatus is similar to 1st winter great black backed gull. This is typical of these gulls although this argentatus is towards the paler end of the scale but there is a lot of individual variation. These are my observations but feel free to comment on the above if you have not already fallen asleep! Always willing to learn.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lea Green landfill,
A dull grey rainy morning was brightened by a 1st w Iceland gull flying from the tip onto the warehouse roof at 10.00 am . I think one was reported a couple of weeks ago so it was pleasing to pick it out amongst the herring gulls. There was only about 100 large gulls around with a flock of 200 black headed. We were there for about an hour but when we left there was hardly a gull on show so timeing your visit is difficult. A bit hit and miss.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Prescot reservoirs,
A male Stonechat popped up on a bramble in the scrub today. An expected bird as a few usually start to pass through at this time of the year. 5 Skylarks went through also starting to move. A Curlew on the causeway was nice as we usually only get fly overs. 20 oystercatchers and 50 lapwing also on the causeway. 7 buzzards in the air today as they start to pair up .Only 2 pochard today, 50 tufted duck, 2 gadwall, 2 little grebe and 2 gc grebe. The goldeneye are starting to display with the males throwing thier heads back and the females swimming almost fully submerged. A grey wagtail also.
An adult med gull was seen early morning by BH.
A mid morning visit to Lea Green tip and the warehouses produced nothing of interest after some excellent birds being seen midweek.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Prescot reservoirs,

The 2nd winter iceland gull was reported last Sunday and Monday at the reservoirs on birdguides and CD reports seeing it near Leagreen tip on the warehouse roof this afternoon.

An adult med gull and an adult yellow legged gull were at the reservoirs today. One of the regular peregrines was over no4 res and a raven flew over .Also today 1 buzzard, 1 kestrel f, 13 cormorants, 5 pochard, 4 goldeneye 2m 2f, 1 gc grebe, 3 little grebe,50 tufted duck, 1 grey wag and 1 stock dove.

The gull numbers today were;1000 herring gull, 200 black heads, 100 common gull, 40 lesser and 20 great black backs.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Great bird crap video

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Eckee thump! A PACIFIC DIVER.
I was back in Yorkshire today and what a glorious sunny day it was. This time the draw was a first for me and for Britain, Europe and the western paleartic. A juvenile pacific diver was on a gravel pit at Farnham. Similar to black throated diver it shows a chin strap, no white flank patches and also has a thin ventral line on its underside. It has a smaller bill, more rounded head giving it its own particular jizz.
It was apparently suppressed for two weeks before the sighting was made public. All credit to the person who asked the question "This may not be a black throated diver" and went further to id this mega bird. 10 pounds to get in but shared between 3 made it more than acceptable.
This is a full species according to the AOU so hopfully the BOU will give it the same status but its already on my list.
A red kite on the way back was the icing on the cake.