Underwings - Down Under

Monday, 3rd June 2013

Well, while other Portland birders are elsewhere watching Grotty Flycatchers and the Dozy Finch ;-) I'm back up to my old tricks photographing perhaps the most majestic of our East Weare birds, Larus marinus. Ok but what's all this 'Down Under' you may ask? Read on..

I've just been looking back through my 'Gull Folder' and it was almost a year ago, on June 27th 2012, that I last had a really good look at the adult Gbb Gull - underwing. So, it's about time for a refresher course, so here we go:

 Great Black-backed Gull - adult, underwing - Grove Point Portland - 3rd June 2013

On close inspection we can see that the top bird is not in 'bad nick', having one or two greater, and a median covert missing. The white primary tips are a bit worn, as to be expected by this time of the year.

OK, call me barmy for spending so much time on the marinus... but there's method in my madness. I intend to find the first Kelp Gull here at all cost (to my health and sanity!).  After all, this rapidly expanding species is apparently breeding now off Senegal, or somewhere down that way. I also have a head start; pictures for study of said target, that I took Down Under, a few years ago.

Underwings - Down Under - Kelp Gulls - Kaikoura, New Zealand

Kelp Gulls - Kaikoura, New Zealand

So, when dominicanus does pass overhead, armed with all this knowledge, and the trusty 7D... I can't fail to get it!

Today's shots of 3rd CYear Great Black-backed underwings will appear here tomorrow.

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