Saturday, 20 February 2016

Gulls. Lots of them.

We spent Saturday in Yorkshire at Rufforth hoping to see some gulls. We weren't disappointed! We spent most of the time around the airfield though we also checked be flooded fields just to the east. Here's a run down of the highlights among the many thousands of gulls present...

Caspian Gull
A minimum of 5 birds seen throughout the day; 2 first-winters (including the bird seen near Woodhorn in January), 2 second-winters including a sort of bleached looking individual and an adult.

The first-winter Caspian Gull which was seen near Woodhorn in January (note the bill and greater covert patterns).

Another first-winter
The pale second-winter.
First-winter Caspian Gull
Above photo copyright - S Clifton

The distant adult - a lot more distinctive in the field!
Glaucous Gull
Four juveniles seen; three standard birds at the same time and a pale bird later on.

One of the standard juveniles...

Along with the pale (and quite small) bird.
Iceland Gull
Adult appeared late on before flying overhead back to the tip.

Lesser Black-backed Gull
One or two seen during the day.

Herring Gull
A striking leucistic individual...

First thoughts were of Yellow-legged Gull with this bird, but now thinking maybe a Herring x LBBG hybrid? Comments welcome...

We also weren't sure about this gull, could it even be a Caspian Gull??

A great day in the end despite the wind and rain making photos difficult! I would highly recommend a trip...


  1. Your second last reminds me of a smallish blocky-headed presumed LBBxHG hybrid we had here in Lothian on probably more that one occasion:

  2. Very interesting blog post , certainly seems to be the best place in Uk for Gulls , only been there once but got my timing all wrong as most of the gulls were on the tip .

    1. Cheers Rob, we were there all day so there were a lot of gulls appearing and disappearing...