Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Gull Problem.

I'd like to think I was considered by others as a 'birder' in the full sense of the word, but unfortunately I don't actually qualify for the title, and I'm not on my own here and reckon a good percentage of birders who visit Birds2blog don't qualify either. 

I'm making this comment based on the fact that the aforementioned 'good percentage' don't - just like me - take the interest in 'gulls' that they should do. I have my own reasons for not taking the same interest in these birds, being that I cannot bring myself to learn the ID skills required to put names to individuals which are immature as opposed to adults which I certainly will try my damnedest to ID in nearly all cases. 

Tim Kuhn: Bonaparte's Gull  Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull Tim Kuhn

I think the Bonaparte's Gull is a good example of the kind of confusion us unskilled with gull types can be challenged with. OK this may not be the perfect example, if only because the species is a rare one, though in 1990 there was a peak of at least eleven Bonaparte's Gulls in the UK, and theres always the possibility you'll see a gull at a bit of a distance off the Stone Jetty  at  Morecambe one day and record it as a....

Black-headed Gull Antonio Puigg 

....Black-headed Gull just like me! 

Its all very well to say the Bonaparte's Gull is smaller than the Black-headed Gull, and is rounder headed, shorter necked, shorter legged, and has a slim black bill at all ages, but try achieving some of these characteristics off the jetty at Morecambe, or in even better situations perhaps if you're owt like me.  

Time to get your act together lads, do twelve months study of 'gull' ID, and join the ranks of 'proper fully paid up birders'. As for me....I'm always looking at something else!!

And another thing....I'm off birding tomorrow come what may.


Warren Baker said...

I wish I got to see more Gulls Pete, at least I could practice !

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Gulls don't do a lot for me either !! I haven't the patience required. I am sure you will enjoy your birding tomorrow..good weather too. Take care.