A few minutes later, 'ding', a text: 'Nice ad argentatus cori corner'
Thankfully I wasn't mid-way through a job, and was back by the the river pretty quickly.
Steve has already mentioned the fact on his blog, but it's worth pointing out just how scarce a bird is 'Scandinavian' Herring Gull in Devon. It is an A-list rarity, along with Red-throated Pipit, White-billed Diver and Alpine Swift, and rightly so. Including this one I have seen a grand total of just three in this neck of the woods - both the others (also adults) were on 28 January, 2011. Compare that with five Ring-billed Gulls and something like nine or ten Caspian Gulls (er, yes, I can't recall exactly. I know, shameful) and you get the picture.
|Here it is on its own - and yes, I know - looking exactly like every other Herring Gull, ever.|
|But here it is with an adult argenteus, significantly darker.|
|[see caption to photo above]|
As we know, gulls are variable, hybridise like crazy, and eat radioactive plastic, so I suppose this bird could be anything really. However, it looks alright to me and I am quite happy to call it an argentatus Herring Gull. Very nice it was too.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the estuary the Island Hide on Black Hole Marsh was apparently creaking at the seams. Why? Because there's a Green-winged Teal to be had. It hadn't been seen for at least an hour and a half when I popped over, so I didn't even get out of the van but headed straight off to work. In a way I was glad it wasn't showing. It's funny, I had kind of felt obliged to go and make an effort, yet knew I'd not enjoy it much. The gull had been in a different league. There's never going to be a crowd for that! Just Steve, Ian M and myself, watching it from the side of the river, out in the open...so, SO much better than crammed in a hide...
Maybe that's why I like gulls? Because so few others do...