jhn7's picture

King of the castle?

Observed: 21st February 2011 By: jhn7
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
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P1100637-1
P1100632-1
Description:

Through window using binoculars with the digital camera so not very clear I'm afraid. There might be some sort of ring on it's leg.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) interacts

Comments

jhn7's picture

Seems a huge range?

Thanks for the identification. Lesser black-backed gulls' backs must range from pale grey to black. Certainly I have been corrected when mistakenly thinking a very black backed gull was a Great b-b. I know in the past people have pointed to the eye of a Herring gull being 'meaner' and this bird's eye looks ordinary. Perhaps this is the same bird that landed in the same place on the roof apex in the beginning of December (5th photo above)!!

Janet
Certificate in Contemporary Science (Open)

Syrphus's picture

LBB is never pale grey,

LBB is never pale grey, Janet, but there is a bit of variation. Northern LBBs are as dark as GBBs, but ours are distinctly paler than GBBs.

The grade of grey (pale to dark) in our frequently-seen larger gulls goes Herring - Common - LBB - GBB, and the only significant overlap is with LBB/GBB.

Leg colour is also vital. In the same order, pink - green - yellow - pink.

The 'mean eye' applies mainly as a contrast between CG (head round, dark eye in the middle) and the rest (triangular head, yellow eye a bit more towards the bill). It is very much jizz, though, and varies with the mood of the bird as it can change the shape of the head by fluffing up feathers.

I hope this helps. Gulls are not the easiest of groups, as you have discovered!

Murdo

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.

jhn7's picture

Thank you for this helpful comment.

I think I shall print it! Apart from Black-headed gulls if I have trouble with a gull sitting posing what hope have I got? I really thought the legs were pink with a bit of yellow at the top where there might be a ring. I made myself a photo comparison sheet before Christmas to carry around but then I mostly see flocks flying too quickly for me to catch and focus with binoculars. Is there a good guide book? I've got Collins - I'm going to the Isles of Scilly for the 1st time early April where I hope I will see lots!

Janet
Certificate in Contemporary Science (Open)