Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 392 - Herring Gull

The Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) is in many ways the default gull for much of Europe.  Its almost laughing call is so over used in 'sea side sound scapes' as to become a cliche!

As you can see from these pictures, as they mature their plumage undergoes many changes, which is what makes gull so interesting I suppose.  Many people (although not me!) seem to take huge delight in being able to identify the specific age of gulls based on their (the gulls!) plumage.  Its all a bit much for me!

The gulls on the concrete wharf were taken around Maryport on the coast of Cumbria in the UK.  The gull in the sunlight was from outside the Opera House in Oslo.  This bird has a been seen at this location many times - I reported its band number and found out!

For all the amazing animals we have in Australia, we really only have 3 species of gull and (?) 90% of those are Silver Gulls, so it was nice to see a few more species in Europe.








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20 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
One of my favourite pastimes (given the numbers of them around here!) The top four images, in my estimation, portray a juvenile in mid to late third-year plumage... (Blame David, who reviewed Gulls Of The World by Klaus Malling Olsen a while back and I couldn't resist its purchase!!!)Then there is the full-fledged adult modelling for its adoring audience! YAM xx

Marcia said...

How neat you could find out more about the gull from its band number.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I do dabble in aging gulls, Stewart, but I must confess that it is akin to an exercise in masochism. I wonder that clinical therapists are not dealing with people suffering from "Subadult gull plumage syndrome!"

This N That said...

Great Gull pics..I'm not a fan of Gulls and it's not there fault..Spending summers at the beach...too many people feed them and they become a true nuisance...Even out door restaurants are hazardous..I'm with you as far as following their ages by plumage..How old do they get?? Enjoy the rest of your week..

Cloudia said...

Good post, Stewart. Thanks.

Brian King said...

Beautiful photos! I like seeing the different phases.

Ranten said...

Unfortunately, the gulls are struggling to find food and many species are threatened with extinction here in Norway.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Nice sequence! We have disagreements over the age of Bald Eagles. Part of the confusion is how to designate the plumage year-- They usually attain full adult plumage at about age 4 years, which is the start of their 5th year plumage. Then there is the biologic bell curve and even the hatch date to further confound the neat classification.

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

I think in their summer plumage they are a lovely gull although noisy.
Thanks for hosting and have a good week ahead.

Richard Pegler said...

I find it difficult enough to identify many of the UK species of gull, Stewart, let alone age them!

Rohrerbot said...

Now this is a gull I know well:)

Rhodesia said...

I seldom ever see a gull at all and then I cannot usually identify them! Nice set of photos and good you got the ring number. Cheers Diane

italiafinlandia said...

Seagulls can be so curious birds, sometimes...
All the best, Stewart.

Lady Fi said...

People under-appreciate the beauty of gulls! Lovely shots.

Lea said...

Great photos!
We have Herring Gulls here in the USA, too, Larus argentatus smithsonianus.
Have a wonderful day!

Marie Smith said...

Love the sound of gulls along the shoreline.

Nathalie SANTA MARIA said...

Excellent ! A bird I'm used to seeing every day. They're very familiar.
Frienship

Linda said...

Nice series of photos and informative.

carolinesnatuurfotografie said...

Beautiful photos of the gulls Stewart,the one with the rings has hungry I think. Greetings Caroine

Ludmiła Jabłońska said...

To prawda. To bardzo popularna mewa w Europie. Bardziej popularna jest tylko mewa śmieszka!
Piękne zdjęcia!