Friday, 13 December 2013

Horsehay - Leucistic large gull sp.

Horsehay Pool was pretty uneventful until this exciting gull dropped in. You didn't need bins to spot it never mind a scope! And what a striking contrast between the white of the plumage and the black of the eyes and bill..... Tom Lowe had picked the Belvide juv Iceland Gull out at Candles tip earlier that afternoon so this species was on my mind as I picked this ghostly bird out,  It clearly isn't! But what is it?? Here's a few representative images......






A wingflap revealed the expected pure white underwing......







Obviously identification using plumage detail is next to useless with a gull like this. Its' all about size and structure. Size and jizz seemed to exclude Herring Gull. The bill is the only bare part coming into play and the length / shape to me suggests this is a leucistic Lesser Black-backed Gull. Compare with the Herring and Lesser Black-backed gulls below.....



This gull is doing the rounds within the Midlands and Steve Whitehouse confirmed it appears to be the same bird seen at Wildmoor tip (Worcestershire) a few weeks ago. The power of twitter kicked in with Wayne Dutton noting that a gull fitting with this one was present at Bartley Reservoir (West Midlands) a week ago followed by Throckmorton tip (Worcs) over the weekend.....


Anyone out there who still thinks gulls are uninteresting??

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