RING-BILLED GULL HYBRID??
Yesterday while driving up the M1 to Shropshire, news came on of an adult Ring-billed Gull at Prsosrlee Lake. When I arrived at 16.00, I was told by Roger Clay, the finder, that it flew off at 15.00. I had found 2 Ring-billed Gulls in the county before, including an adult on April 1st '95 at Ellesmere and was thought to be the same bird, found by Matthew Webb, that stayed a few days at the end of March the following year, but how much I would have liked to have seen this one.
I knew that there would be a lot of people at Priorslee this morning, so I first checked out Trench Pool and recorded my first Wigeon there. At Priorslee Flash there were just a few gulls and I finally arrived at Priorslee Lake at 09.30. Roger, Martin Ryder and a birder from Dudley were already present and Latham was in and out all over the shop checking out other areas for the Ring-billed Gull. I had only just set up when Roger got a cracking adult Mediterranean Gull. It was there for few minutes and then flew off NE, but that was just the taste of what turned out to be a very good day. It wasn't long until Roger's sharp eyes picked out the near adult Caspian Gull.
This adult Mediterranean Gull had a red ring on it's left and was ringed in Poland Roger Clay
Near-adult Caspian Gull
Martin Grant and Tom Lowe all arrived and caught up with the caspian and earl afternoon, as predicted, the snow started coming down. Then Roger shouted that he had got the RING-BILLED GULL! It was sitting on the ice front on and it looked very good except for the mantle colour was too dark, but could this be the dull light? It didn't stay long and as the snow was getting worse, Roger thought it would be a good idea to make a move as he was driving to Wolverhampton. But not before he saw the juvenile Glaucous Gull come in. This bird was first found by Martin Grant last Monday and has been roosting just up road at Belvide. Steve Nuttall with Staffs birders arrived and the odd gull was relocated. This time it stuck around and Steve pointed out that the primaries were spot on for a Ring-billed Gull. However, the upperparts at times were perhaps darker than Common Gull and the legs were a greenish yellow. No one could put a name to it, but all agreed that it could be a Ring-billed hybrid??
Juvenile Glaucous Gull
This was taken yesterday in bright light by Roger Clay. Looking at this, you would think it was a classic Ring-billed Gull
Note size compasion with Lesser-black backed Gull. Also, the heavy steaking and the shade of grey, gives it the impression of an adult Azorean Gull.
RING-BILLED GULL hybrid?? Any comments are welcome
Only a three of us braved the cold and Tom relocated the Caspian Gull and I found an adult Yellow-legged Gull. Although my parents only lived up road, I decided to leave and got a shock when I looked at the time. I thought it was maybe 12.30-13.00, but it was 15.00! I had been there for nearly 6 hours! With so much going on, the time had flown by. I just hope Roger is at Priorslee tomorrow. All we needed today was an Iceland and it would finished off the day nicely.
Adult Yellow-legged Gull. Tom also a 2nd winter
This ones for Steve Nuttall. My cousin Alan webb, 3rd row down, 4th from right, played in the first team with West Brom when Bryan Robson and Cyril Regis played and Ron Atkinson was manager. When Atkinson became manager of United he took Robson with him. When Higgo looks at this, he'll spit on the screen. Just watched Match of the Day to see Higgo's beloved Wolves did the business against QPR, 2-1 and the Hawthorns, they lost 2-1 to Swansea.