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Had a bit of a debate today about kittiwakes and BHGs with friends while out fishing. There were plenty of BHGs about. Then this one was quite different. Kittiwake shaped, black bill, spot behind the eye as per summer BHG but black markings which seemed peculiar. None of us had seen this before and I thought it might be a young BHG. I think there were ordinary kittiwakes about- the whitest birds on view. This is a new species to me. I wonder why I havent heard of the species before, this was a really lovely bird.
Thanks for the ID dhobern,
Thanks, Cathal. Kittiwakes are fabulous gulls, much more maritime than most others.
Is a Black legged kittiwake the same thing as a kittiwake Donald?
I definitely saw pure white, yellow beaked kittiwakes today. Is my one above a juvenile?
Yes, this bird was until not so long ago just called Kittiwake in England. There is a related species in the Pacific with red legs, so the name has been adopted to be less ambiguous.
This is indeed the juvenile. They have a black V on each wing in flight. Juvenile Little Gulls have a similar pattern.
Thanks Donald, that explains why there is a new species of kittiwake on my shores. Still I hadnt seen such a nicely patterned juvenile before, if I have I probably put it down as a young BHG as I did today.
Lat/Lng: 55.1136, -6.0312
OS grid ref: NW430873