Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Two Glaucs !

Weather: W/SW-5, cold with sunny spells.

No sign recently of the overwintering Snow Buntings at Wallasey although I suspect they are seldom searched for in the recent inclement weather. 

The 1st winter Laughing Gull continues its residence at New Brighton promenade.

At Hoylake, several hundred Common Scoter were offshore whilst the Hoylake High tide Gull roost held a Med Gull, Yellow legged Gull and another or the same 1st winter Glaucous Gull just east of the Hoylake promenade tennis courts.

AMC, KD, MG,DH , DK and  EW

Glaucous Gull is of course a scarce bird on Wirral, so when yesterdays New Brighton 'dips' bird flew off having only been seen by the finder and one other, it was perhaps reasonable to assume that the bird located on the beach just ten minutes later and just yards away, was the self same bird. Not so in our opinion. I started to look more closely at the photographs from yesterdays blog and began to compare them with a photograph taken by John Jones of the original bird. To my eye the differences are clear. Bird 1) shows a whiter head with a distinct dark eye 'smudge' , a grey mantle contrasting with barred coverts and tertials, a black tip being almost level on both upper and lower mandibles and lastly a pale yellow eye consistent with a second winter bird. Bird 2) does not show the same eye smudge, has a concolourous mantle, a misaligned black tip extending towards the head on the lower mandible and crucially an all dark eye consistent with a first year bird. (AMC)

Some have suggested that these differences can be accounted for by the different light conditions at the time each of the photographs were taken and that the chances of having two Glaucs at the same site at the same time would be too much of a coincidence !

Take a look at our photographs and let us know if you think differently.

Bird 1,) 2nd winter Glaucous Gull (John Jones)

Bird 2 ) 1st winter Glaucous Gull

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