|(c) Wendell Thomas|
08 May 2013
Hybrid Gull at WWT Llanelli
This rather smart presumed Mediterranean Gull x Black-headed Gull hybrid has recently been frequenting the Black-headed Gull colony on the main Lagoon at Penclacwydd, currently estimated at around 120 pairs. The bird was identified by Richard Davies, Wendell Thomas, Lyndon Evans & Julie Evans on 4th May, although earlier reports of a second summer bird suggest that it's probably been around a bit longer than that. Today it was posturing-displaying on its own, without attracting much attention, so second generation hybrids seem unlikely at this stage.
The main features pointing to it being a hybrid are the Med-like satin black hood, bold white eye-crescents and bright red drooped bill. Pro-black-head features are the apparent Black-headed Gull type closed wing pattern, the narrowness of the bill and the white nape. A key feature not visible in this image is the wing pattern which unfortunately we never saw today; hopefully someone will get this on camera. Photos of other Med.x B-h. Gull hybrids I've seen look far more Med-like than this bird, so not sure how unusual this phenotype is?