Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Iceland Gull.

But first....

Bowland. Peter Guy.

Anyone who follows Birds2blog will know how much I appreciate any/all photography and I can no longer resist posting this excellent image of the early morning sunrise through the trees just on the east side of Trough Bridge near Tower Lodge. Thanks for this Peter....pretty impressive stuff.

Iceland Gull. Ian Tallon.

There's been - and still remains -  an Iceland Gull (IG) at Preston Docks since 19 November, the bird was first found on the River Ribble the day before. The IG is a regular visitor to Britain and in the main are immature birds, they breed on cliffs and offshore stacks across northeast Canada, Baffin Island, and east to Greenland, they winter south to New England, the eastern Great Lakes, Iceland, and northwestern Europe.

From over 550 ring recoveries only seven were of movements outside the local breeding area, two of which were immatures which reached northern England and northeast Scotland, they are the only two IG's ringed in Greenland to be recovered here, another one demonstrated the potential for movements from Greenland to North America with this individual recovered in Labrador.

Although there is variation from year to year estimates wintering in Britain are between 100-200 annually, as is often the case influx years are related to unfavourable weather conditions further north. A small number of reports involve long staying birds with an extreme case of one in Dublin, Ireland from October 1968 for over eighteen months until May 1970.

The vast majority of winter records in Britain are of birds of the race glaucoides which breeds in Greenland, but there are also records of the race kumlieni which breeds further west into Canada, but the degree of plumage variation is such that it is difficult to establish a clear distinction between the two and many birds cannot be readily distinguished in the field, as a consequence the British Birds Rarities Committee have taken the stand that records of birds showing characteristics associated with kumlieni should not be differentiated from those of glaucoides.

Some brief data of a bird which interests me very much. Thanks for the photograph Ian, I'd suggest some telepathy at work here as you sent me the pic at the same time I'd decided to 'look up' this fascinating gull.

It was excellent to see at least 50 Waxwing the nearest to my home they've ever been, in trees by Bowerham School this afternoon.

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