The 'Kumlien's' Gull at Berry Head / Brixham

I was very interested to read an adult 'Iceland Gull' was seen at Berry Head again yesterday. If its the 'Kumlein's Gull' that was present up to 25/01/18 (when last photographed by Bill Macdonald) its been down to Newlyn, Cornwall and back, or it could just be a new Iceland Gull!

If you see the bird, try and look at the wing tip pattern (its quite subtle), for darker grey markings on outer primaries (p8-10) & damaged tail and compare it with these photos taken on 23/01/18 (reproduced in more detail below), ideally take some more.

'Kumlien's Gull' left wing tip'Kumlien's Gull' right wing tip

'Kumlein's Gull''Kumlien's Gull', broken tail feather (t2)

Confirmation it was the same bird down at Newlyn on 26/01/18, came from photos on taken by Michael McKee. The similarity was spotted by sharp-eyed Steve Waite & Mike Langman when comparing the photos to the ones I posted on 23/01/18. Apart from the matching wing tip pattern, the tip of one of the right-hand central tail feathers (t2) is missing. It had taken just a day to get down there! That's 95 miles in a straight line and further by sea. It was suggested it probably picked up the Newlyn trawler fleet, which were fishing SW of Plymouth. It would be great if we could prove this bird has come back following the Brixham fleet?

The bird shows characteristics of 'Kumlien's Gull' as the wing tip pattern has "darker grey marks on the outer three to four primaries with sub-terminal marks on one (to three) primaries".  See , putting it in kumlieni stage 2 (figs d-f), representing about 11% of birds in this study.

Posted January 31st, 2018 at 10:50 am by Mark Darlaston in Bird News