It’s what they do, where they go, how far they travel, the ‘gull narrative’ that adds to the wonder. While Gullfest 2015 is cooking in Vardø and folk visit the mighty Hornøya Island. Here’s one of those stories.
JX347: Hornøya to South Yorkshire and back again and back again
JX347 having been rung on Hornøya has wintered in South Yorkshire- two years running! As a first winter bird and as a second winter bird- and been well photographed. The variety in young northern argentatus Herring Gull is quiet considerable. This one is not an easy ‘pick-out’ on plumage. And what route did it take to reach the UK? Over the arctic top like this Great Black-backed Gull or through the Baltic? Both are possibilities. Have look:
First Winter plumage
(poached from excellent Barnsley Bird Blog – photo by Steve Denny)
Second Winter plumage
In Sheffield last month- (photo by Andy Deighton)
Thanks to Andy Deighton and Morton Helberg for following:
CR-Code Black ring with white code: JX347 LBM;RBNW(JX347)
Ringing Centre Stavanger Museum (Norway) Ring number 4193850
Species Herring Gull Larus argentatus
Sex Unknown Age Pullus
||Hornoya, Vardo, Finnmark, Norway
||Anglers Country Park, Wintersett, West Yorks, Great Britain
||Wintersett Reservoir , West Yorks, Great Britain
||Wintersett Reservoirs, Great Britain, Great Britain
||Warren Street, Sheffield, South Yorks, Great Britain
to compare- a similar 1st winter was photographed at Vardø April 2012:
Adult wing tips
Since the early 1980’s these have fascinated me (especially when the local county refused to accept the records!). The most interesting have usually been the ones with reduced black and more white in the wing tips. Some sporting the ‘thayer’ pattern on the outermost primary P10 and even on the penultimate long primary p9. What’s the thayeri pattern? As on an adult Thayer’s Gull, the pale/ white wedge on the inner primary runs right through to th white ‘mirrors’ near the tip and NO black cuts across the feather- as on the typical pattern of most dark winged Large Gulls.
Here is the thayeri pattern from Banks from 1917- “The Status of Larus thayeri. Thayer’s Gull”
The pattern on the right show the uninterrupted white right through to the wing tip.
So here’s some argentatus with the thayeri pattern
from Gullfest 2013 at Vardø
not visible this just has thayeri pattern on p9
This one has nice long tongue but no thayeri
we also found darker winger birds- some with 6 black marked primaries which were intriguing. one of these had been rung further south in the Baltic.
Ringed in Poland
This next bird was trapped at Vardø already sported ring from Poland. Pink-legged and dark backed it was the darkest winged bird we trapped. 6 black marked primaries including dark band across p5.
another darker winged bird
back to those beautiful pale wing tip patterns
How cold? Waiting to explore gulls and ducks…
with rubbery looking fish lips and amazing plumage tones- in both males and females
and King Ducks
and pretty smaller gulls
whose wing tip patterns we are exploring…