Anyway, back to yesterday. Mrs B is getting itchy feet and wants to move. Not far mind you, so we spent yesterday afternoon touring prospective abodes on the Fylde. Not that anything should be read into this as I fear we could well find ourselves in any other corner of Lancs, or just staying here in Preston! Anyway, I digress. There was a Yellow-legged Gull at Cocker's Dyke near Pilling (somewhere Mrs B had earmarked with potential for future dwelling - Pilling - not Cocker's Dyke!) and having paid a cursory glance at one house I persuaded Mrs B that the YLG would be most educational. After a first scan through the gathering of standing Larids (the ones whose legs I could see), I drew a blank. A second sift through loafing Larids (tricky - can't see legs), picked out the gull in the photo above. Mantle tone midway between LBBG and Herring, no bluish cast. Fair start.
Then it stood up. Yellow legs! Time to alert Mrs B who by now has returned to the car overcome by the excitement of yet another sub-adult gull. No need to worry though as I had read the situation, removing all sharp objects and shoe laces etc from the car, therefore preventing any self-harm situations.
Yellow-legged Gull, Pilling 28 June 2009. Note mantle colour (between Herring / LBBG in grey tone), "squared-off" head shape and lack of "tertial step" producing attenuated appearance. Oh, nearly forgot - yellow legs!
Now, me and YLG's have history. Date: 14 April 2008, location Loch Arthur in Dumfries & Galloway. Loads of LBBG's, few Herring Gulls, end of the day so better check through them. There, in the middle of the flock of white-headed gulls sat one bird, square headed with a dark grey mantle, tone midway between Herring & LBBG. Spot-on for YLG. It even started preening and showed nice custard yellow feet and legs as it rolled. Knowing this would be a good D&G bird (and a D&G tick for me) I decided to try a few snaps with the digiscope. Mistake! The results of this wise decision can be seen here where a nice clear blue gap on the water shows exactly where the putative (don't you just hate that word?) YLG sat only seconds beforehand. My enthusiasm for securing D&G's first documented record of Yellow-legged Gull wilted somewhat when I realised I'd need the pattern of the fifth primary for record acceptance. As you can see from the above shot, the Pilling bird was a bit more co-operative. I'll be checking lots of white-headed gulls in D&G next week, I can assure you. Mrs B can hardly wait!
So there we have it. Plenty of mundane drivel to be going on with and I dare say we'll end up moving about 100 yards down the road.