GRC Blog

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.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Aberavon Beach (7/10/13)

A few gathering gulls at the rivermouth, yesterday evening, saw this Herring Gull type stick out from the crowd. A few shades darker than our Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus argenteus), but otherwise quite similar. Shape, leg colour and bill size seems to rule out Yellow-legged Gull and suggest possibly "northern" Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argentatus), which show a darker shade of grey on the upper parts and also less black in the wingtips. This bird is still growing it's outer primaries making the task of studying the wingtip pattern hard, add to this video-grab record shots in poor light and it becomes harder still.
The inner-web of P9 shows a lot of white along its length which is consistent of northern Herring Gulls that show less black in the wing. This feature would also be expected to be seen on a fully grown P10. However, the pattern, especially the tip of P9, is a little unexpected and therefore the possibility of a hybrid gull of some sort can't be ruled out, from these shots. The size of this bird, while looking fairly stocky at times, was not noticeably bigger than other Herring Gulls present nearby, whereas northern Herring  Gulls can often appear bigger by comparison.
Lots of activity around the bay; less usual stuff being a pair of Wigeon flying upriver and 27 Golden Plovers showing some intent on coming in to land along the shore before making a couple of circuits of the bay and heading off towards Mumbles. Also more Auk sp offshore today with 4 on the sea at distance.


Barry Stewart said...

Mark, I'm not sure if what you're referring to as P9, is not in fact P7 or P8?, but an interesting looking bird all the same.

Mark Hipkin said...

Hi Barry,
Yes the feather I was referring to is the longest outer primary. I'd taken that P10 is the feather still growing and can be seen from underneath quite well? Having looked again I'll concede it could be P9 on its way. That'll make the final wing-length of this bird a bit longer and make more sense of the pattern. Any suggestions as to it's identity?

Barry Stewart said...

I think your suggestion that it could be nominate argentatus is valid from what I can see