Welcome to the GRC Recorders pages. This blog provides details on all the relevant news of Glamorgan’s scarcer birds, plus all BBRC & WRP decisions that affect us locally. It will also be used to document the status and occurrence of these scarcer species and we welcome contributions from anyone with photographs, artwork or documentation of rarities past, present and future. The GRC also welcomes all seawatching news from around Glamorgan and news of passage migrants in spring & autumn, uncommon birds in our area and unusual behaviour.
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The Glamorgan Rarities Committee, in conjunction with the Glamorgan Bird Club & Gower Wildlife , have agreed to co-operate with the Welsh Ornithological Society in the sharing of bird records & photographs in the interest of keeping accurate records and to promote birdwatching in North, Mid & South Wales.
Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Just a quick note to open up a discussion or whatever, but to my mind at least, it's becoming more compelling, comparing how birders are naming the age of these Gulls than the birds themselves. That can't be right! Searching for answers online is a accident waiting to happen and my earlier attempt at clearing the issue up now looks, to some extent, misleading! That post didn't bring about any comments and continued variation in age classification is being used across the local websites; but admittedly more than one bird is involved here. Certainly, from the photos, the Pontsticill Glaucous Gull looks far more faded than the Burry Inlet bird.
Gull Research Organisation has been my latest online destination for enlightenment and I see that on their site, which is full of experts, the photos of the Gulls are classified by the subject's age in calendar years, before reaching sub-adult status and ultimately adulthood.
Is gull moult too complex an issue to use terms like juvenile, 1st Winter, 1st Summer and so on.? Should we also be using 1cy, 2cy, 3cy, etc. I can see the advantages of both; perhaps it doesn't matter?
A reference that I own is Gulls by P.J. Grant (1986) and that openly refers to periods where juvenile (summer to Oct), 1st winter (September to March) and 1st Summer (March to September) occur in Glaucous Gull and Iceland Gull. There has been progress in the understanding of Gulls since then and a good book (that I don't own) is Gulls by Olsen and Larson (2004), which may shed more light on the matter? My own recent use of juvenile, to class the gulls concerned in our area recently, is in no small part following the lead of the National Bird Alert Services who rarely deviate from classing these "1st winter birds" as juveniles. I must admit that my own persuasion is tending back to the more general guidance provided by Grant.
I suspect that when we read about a Glaucous Gull which has been reported, but not accompanied by a photo, many of us would imagine what it looked like irrespective of whether it has been classed as juv, juv/1stW, 1stW or 2cy, and that image would tend to be the same?