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presumed 1w Ring-billed/Common Gull x LBB - Penzance, 25/12/20 (1 Viewer)

Dean Nicholson

Cloacal Protuberant.
Thoughts appreciated on the attached 1w that graced Penzance harbour in Cornwall for 40 minutes on Christmas Day....

Very small and dark looking and not particularly like anything i've ever seen over the years in terms of both size and plumage - things like Azorean Gull, Cape Gull, American Herring etc were all considered and eventually dismissed.... a 'strange' LBB was also considered and although can't be completely ruled out would seem unlikely (certainly for a pure bird) due to the unlikely combination of both small size AND odd plumage.
I forwarded the shots around to several experienced gullers who were all equally confused and it was not even cut and dried that it was a 1w bird, more than one correspondee was adamant it was a 2w which tells its own story as to how odd it looks and also supports the hybrid theory.

The most likely hybrid pairing in this instance is either a Ring-billed Gull x LBB or even a Common Gull x LBB..... although to my knowledge a CG x LBB mixed pairing has never been reported you would assume that if a Ring-Billed would/could then surely a CG could too?
There are several returning 'presumed' Ring-billed x LBB hybrids knocking about the Country so what would the offspring of those birds look like?
I'd say the bird was about the size of a Ring-billed Gull being slightly smaller and daintier than a standard LBB.

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