mandag 2. april 2012

Probable "Viking" Gull yesterday and another cr-gull today!

After having looked over the pictures of the mystery gull from yesterday, I have come to the conclusion that this is probably a "Viking" Gull, a hybrid between Herring Gull (Gråmåke) and Glaucous Gull (Polarmåke). It has been difficult to find photos of adult Viking Gulls, and of the ones that I could find none looked too much like mine. I think it is probably a second or third generation hybrid, where the original hybrid has bred with a Herring Gull, and possibly an offspring from this has bred again with another Herring Gull. The bird appeared to me as a typical Herring Gull to begin with, but when I got to see the wingtips better, there was several things that didnt fit the blueprint. The pattern both above kind of resembles that of Thayer's Gull (Eskimomåke), but pale oinkish legs and the body-shape excludes this species which should be more similar to Iceland Gull (Grønlandsmåke). Closeups of the head also show a typical Herring Gull head. Due to this, and the limited amount of black above and below the wing, along with a brownish color on the pattern on teh underwing leads me in the direction of Glaucous-genes. Although this one looks nothing like any of the individuals of this hybrid that I have seen before, or can find online, I feel pretty sure that this is how it has to have arrived into this world. I ahve also gotten this backed up by other birders. Ill paste one of the pictures into this blog as well just to illustrate my points.

Probable Viking Gull, note limited black markings on upper side of wing, and brownish tone to the faint markings on the underwing. Head, body and bill just like Herring Gull.

Today I got to see the third cr-ringed Glaucous Gull of the season. Earlier I have seen one of the ones I ringed last year, nad one that was ringed in another project here in 2007, where I am now in gharge. The one I saw today was one of mine from last year. Black with white JX021 was ringed august 22nd last year at the tip, and was seen two more times last year just where I saw it today. It was already paired up with another gull, so hopefully it will produce small balls of fluff in not too long.

Since I cant get enough of looking at these huge gulls, I keep photographing them whenever I am around them. To see such big birds playing in the air just a few metres away makes me smile, even though I cant really explain why. I wish everybody could experience more than ten white-winged gulls lfying around their head at one time to experience it. Well, enough about that, here are some of todays pictures:

Coming in to land.........

Am I able to walk on the surface?


Well, at least I can float on the surface!

Very feminine Glaucous Gull, it kind of resembled an Iceland Gull in the distance, but its probably just a female Glaucous.

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