Tuesday 24 July 2012

Ringed juvenile Yellow-legged Gull

In my previous posting on Sunday, I remained intentionally vague about a yellow-ringed juvenile gull seen at Rainham on Saturday. In the field, Rich and I had no qualms about identifying it as a Yellow-legged Gull, although when initial research suggested the colour and code ('H8J0') was typical of a scheme on Heligoland, Germany, we began to worry. Surely if this was a Herring, it would be right back to the drawing board for juvenile gull identification?!

German-ringed Yellow-legged Gull 'H8J0'

Close-up of the darvic; use your imagination!

Thankfully, the idea that this bird was Herring (or even Lesser Black-backed) turned out to be as far-fetched as it seemed in the field on Sunday - this bird was pulli ringed as a michahellis in a colony in central Frankfurt on May 18th. Relief all round, and no need to throw any of our present understanding (and literature) in the bin! Here's the beef:

Thanks to Rich for getting on with the detective work; unfortunately my blog looks a bit of a clone of his at present, although he is off on holiday for a few weeks and thus I might actually have something to post that he doesn't.

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