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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 16:43   #1
Dean Nicholson
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Nott's Baltic Gull - about as good as it gets.....

.......without a ring!

Present in the Bellmoor Lake roost since Oct 20th when first found by Paul Hobson.

Not only in terms of overall appearance but also the primary moult stage of p1-p3 renewed, new p4 not quite fully grown and p5-p10 old is highly indicative of fuscus by this date..... lots of intermedius present (several ringed) at this site as well as Spalford at the moment but none matching the appearance of this bird, there are a few dark (black) ones, a couple of white heads still but i can't find a single one with old visible primaries still (on the closed wing).

I always look for adult LBB's in October with the 'magic 3' combo of black mantle, white head and late primary moult and this bird shows all 3, with a couple of bonus points for small and wingy structure and nice mahogany tones to the mantle (when seen in bright sunlight). A stunning looking gull.

I still maintain that fuscus (especially from the NW Norway colonies where we now have several good (and a couple of not so good!) ringing records) pass through Britain on a fairly regular basis every spring and autumn....but because of BBRC's (in my opinion) over-cautious approach of 'no ring-no good' of all but 2cy birds with correct primary moult, the true figures are being grossly diluted...I also believe that many of those frosty looking wingy juveniles that appear in late summer are fuscus too, i can't prove it of course but they do nothing at all wrong in the looks department.
Surely strong candidate adults with none incriminating moult could be accepted couldn't they? it really does seem like throwing the baby out with the bathwater just because there is the remote possibility of a late moulting Northern intermedius looking similar, when in reality it would be more difficult to find an intermedius by the end of October which hasn't yet reached p5 in primary moult than it would be a kosher fuscus?!
I don't mean go the other way either and start accepting every black mantled or long winged LBB but if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.....
At present the current acceptance criteria skews the records and suggests that fuscus is much rarer than it actually is....

Comments welcome

Cheers
Dean
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 19:19   #2
andyadcock
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Confused me with Nott's.....no apstrophe after the second t, I thought it was yet another split when you wrote it like that i.e a Gull named after 'Nott'


A
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 20:29   #3
Dean Nicholson
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Well spotted, not quite sure why I put that APSTROPHE in there? ;-)
Oh well, at least I only put it in bold in the header so not many people will notice...!
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 20:34   #4
SteveClifton
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Confused me with Nott's.....no apstrophe after the second t, I thought it was yet another split when you wrote it like that i.e a Gull named after 'Nott'


A
Really!!? Or just being overly pedantic over a minor grammatical 'slip'?

If you're gonna follow that line then really you ought to ensure that your own contribution is flawless in terms of spelling and grammar Andy.

Dean, that really looks the business doesn't it! I can feel your frustration, but we all know that really the number of accepted records don't reflect the true picture of fuscus records in the UK. I really should get my eye in with these birds, as we get some huge numbers of LBBG passing through N Yorks. Sadly now numbers have tailed off to just a few hundred in late October. You still got plenty in Notts?

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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 21:29   #5
andyadcock
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Really!!? Or just being overly pedantic over a minor grammatical 'slip'?

If you're gonna follow that line then really you ought to ensure that your own contribution is flawless in terms of spelling and grammar Andy.

Dean, that really looks the business doesn't it! I can feel your frustration, but we all know that really the number of accepted records don't reflect the true picture of fuscus records in the UK. I really should get my eye in with these birds, as we get some huge numbers of LBBG passing through N Yorks. Sadly now numbers have tailed off to just a few hundred in late October. You still got plenty in Notts?
It was intended to be slightly tongue in cheek when I realised it was my error and was in fact not a Gull species and wasn't going to reply but as you're being so shitty, thought I would.

Not being pedantic at all, not even slightly in to Gulls and really thought this was Nott's Baltic Gull, that the only reason I looked. A minor typo on my part is hardly a major error and certainly doesn't change the perception of a subject which an apostrophe does but more fool me for expecting you to realise that as you jumped to the wrong conclusion.

I know nothing about Gulls, so what.

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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 21:39   #6
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Well spotted, not quite sure why I put that APSTROPHE in there? ;-)
Oh well, at least I only put it in bold in the header so not many people will notice...!
Dean, it was a genuine error on my part, I have no interest in Gulls at all and wouldn't have looked ordinarily, I wasn't being shitty, apologies if it came over that way.


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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 21:40   #7
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Hi Steve, Yep, still decent numbers of LBB's down here, at least a couple of thousand at the 2 sites I've been watching. Relying on pig fields as a magnet now though as all the local tips have closed in recent years.....amazing how quick numbers drop off though as November rattles on, come December LBB's become very few and far between.
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 22:24   #8
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Hi Steve, Yep, still decent numbers of LBB's down here, at least a couple of thousand at the 2 sites I've been watching. Relying on pig fields as a magnet now though as all the local tips have closed in recent years.....amazing how quick numbers drop off though as November rattles on, come December LBB's become very few and far between.
Well there are no pig fields here to pull them in, and no working tips either, so I have no idea why they still come, but come they do in their thousands, so I can be grateful for that at least
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 22:36   #9
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Dean

I agree - looks very good. I would certainly be trying to get images if I had seen this. I've never seen anything as good as this is Hampshire, but suspect 'fuscus' would be very rare over this way, as is Caspian Gull.

cheers, alan
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 22:48   #10
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A number of years ago Dean (one of the few times that I was out without a camera) Dec/Jan, on the concrete apron Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London there was a line of gulls probably 30m away, an adult GBBG perhaps a one metre space....then an almost solid line of Common, Herring and BHGulls. Towards the end amongst the Common Gulls was a ''stand out'' Black-backed LBBG. With what I first thought was a ''tail', after looking again, then again and comparing the mantle colour of the bird with the GBBG, and going back to the ''Black-Backed'' LBBG, then again looking at the ''tail'' before realising that the ''tail'' was actually the extraordinarily long extended primaries!! Had to get home to search reference, where all was revealed, I understand that the longer winged birds are probably female. A number of years passed before I finally caught up with fuscus again, during early April on passage, going West off the coast of Paphos, Cyprus. I can remember the wings looking most un-gull like, proportionately more akin to a Shearwater (long wings/short body), certainly a great bird enjoy.

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Old Yesterday, 18:27   #11
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One adult Baltic Gull ( the male type) again at Idle Valley NR, North Notts on the 15th November but no sign since. This bird has moulted P1-6 so far in both wings, which is not that unusual. It was starting to look untidy and its mantle turning a mahogany cast due to wear. I am guessing it will be using a roost not too far away still. Keep your eyes peeled you larophiles out there!
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Old Yesterday, 21:03   #12
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Well spotted, not quite sure why I put that APSTROPHE in there? ;-)
Oh well, at least I only put it in bold in the header so not many people will notice...!
Nothing wrong with that apostrophe there! "Nottingham's Baltic Gull" (the Baltic Gull of Nottingham) is perfectly correct English grammar


Is this Nottingham's first Baltic Gull, or have there been others?
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