05
Apr
12

April Mystery Bird

Most people’s perception of Gull identification is perhaps best summed up by one entrants submission “It’s a Bl**dy Gull”

Gulls can certainly be a challenge but March’s mystery bird should not pose too many problems if features are looked at carefully.

The gull is obviously one of the white winged gulls either Glaucous or Iceland. The other options of Kumlein’s or Viking Gull (a hybrid Glaucous x Herring Gull) would show darker edges to some primaries. Glaucous Winged Gull a relatively new addition to the British List would show greyer primaries.

On perched gulls the ratio of the bill length to eye diameter is conclusive (Iceland has a bill under 4x the eye diameter while Glaucous is over 4x quite often 5x or more). The difference between Glaucous and Iceland Gulls can also be done simply on structure. Iceland is a smaller more compact Gull with a relatively shorter bill. Glaucous is a brute of a gull with a big head, bill and fierce expression. In flight it would look full-chested and bigger bodied than Iceland. Our bird is indeed a daintier, slimmer bodied benign looking Iceland Gull photographed appropriately in Iceland during February.

All answers were for Iceland or Glaucous with twenty two answers for Iceland Gull. Phil and Jan Thorpe did it again and now have four successive correct answers. Once again well done.

There has been an invasion of white winged gulls into the country this last winter and I’m hoping on our Scotland trips this month we catch up with one or two as they move back north.

April’s Mystery bird is pictured below and should be quite easy. Please submit the id by email to carl@wildlifetoursandeducation.co.uk. The rules of the competition can be found in a previous posting here. Give it a go … it doesn’t cost anything and you could easily win as successively correct answers mount up!

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2 Responses to “April Mystery Bird”


  1. April 6, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Nice pose for you to capture–I really like that the details of the feathers are clear, Sally


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