20 April 2012

Hybrid gull at Sandy Water Park

Clearly the local Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls having been getting it together in Llanelli in recent years, resulting in the odd hybrid. I was at Sandy Water Park yesterday with Mark Hipkin when we noticed this individual, loosely paired with a Herring Gull. The most distinctive feature, not apparent in these photos was that the grey was a couple of shades darker than its companion, plus it had pinky-yellow legs and a intensely red orbital-ring. On the water, especially in a mixed flock, such hybrids could easily pass as Yellow-legged Gull, although the wing tip pattern is not right for this species nor is it structurally as robust.


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Anonymous said...

Would be interesting to know if you heard it vocalise, and if so, did it show more of the HG's soprano voice, or the LB's harsh baritone?.

On the subject of orbital rings, I noticed on a close-up of a Great black-backed's eye I took last year, it too has an intensely red orbital ring, like the LB, which I had not noticed previously.
Gareth Thomas