Saturday, 14 March 2009

It's not an Iceland Gull but a Kumlien's instead!!!.....12th March 2009.


2nd Winter Kumlien's Gull-Shawell Balancing Lake.

More views of the Kumlien's Gull


Following info via text message from John about Neil Hagley had found a Kumlien's-type Gull at Shawell Tip and Balancing Lake the previous day, I knew were I was going birding for the next few days.
There had been a bit of a discussion on the gull via birdforum and by the locals about the photos of the bird.
So arriving at the tip just after 9.30am I met up with Neil and Tim (from Warwickshire) who were watching a large group of gulls on the tip face.
Neil had seen the gull around 8.30am feeding on the tip, but it had disappeared for the last twenty minutes into a large dip opposite the tip face.
As Neil had to go to work, myself and Tim then walked down the nearby footpath opposite the gravel works entrance to view the tip. Scanning the tip for a few minutes we still could not see the Gull, so we then decided to check out the nearby balancing lake.
Driving round to the balancing lake opposite the Newton turning off the A5, we soon pick up the Kumlien's Gull in a small group of Lesser BB Gulls.
Viewing the bird you could see the distinctive features of this subspecies, Snow-white in appearance and I noted the grey primaries were much in evidence. The structure of the bird was much more chunky and not cute which is normally associate with Iceland Gulls. The other major feature I saw well was the dark tail-band when the bird flapped its wings on a few occasions.
The only feature which was slightly out of character was the pale colouring of the eye which is 'rare' in this form according to the Gulls bible by Klaus Malling Olsen's Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America.
Knowing that was this was quite a rare bird for Leicestershire as you can imagine I took a few record shots of the Kumlien's Gull and then let Birdnet know about the sighting.
As usual due to work commitments at the general hospital in the afternoon I was soon on my way back to Leicester but was pleased that I had seen a very interesting gull in the county.
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