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Showing posts from January, 2017

Winter Birding: 1st winter Scandinavian Herring Gulls

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The thought of trying to pick out a Scandinavian Herring Gull (LarusArgentatus), amongst a flock of 100's of varied plumaged British Herring Gulls (LarusArgenteus), is enough to put any birder off gulling for life! But fear not my friends, as here is a brief guide to identifying 1st winter Argentatus Herring Gulls whilst out in the field.

The key things which I note when I'm out in the field during the winter months when looking through a flock of Herring Gulls, usually tends to be the pattern of the scapulars. This is a good feature to look out for due to the majority of 'Argenteus' birds having already moulted there 1st cycle scapulars and begin to start showing 2nd cycle feathers on the mantle. The 2nd cycle scapulars mainly appear in the the upper half as a result of 'Argenteus' moult occurring earlier than there northern race of 'Argentatus' due to the differences in breeding.

So lets begin shall we ? Insert 1 shows a classic 1st winter 'Arge…