I was at Stanley Park for meetings today so went to the lake at lunchtime to go through the gulls. Very little turns up among them, but as spring approaches there is always the chance of something dropping in like last spring’s Iceland Gull.
Today was notable for no fewer than five Great Black-backed Gulls, I don’t think I have ever seen this many on the park lake previously. Birders often say there is no such thing as as a ‘seagull’, but Great Blacks are the nearest to it as their latin name Larus marinus literally means gull of the sea. And it was nice to see these brutes up close, as I said at the weekend they are the largest gulls in the world so it’s a privilege to see them up close among the more regular and familiar Herring Gulls.
The regular Danish ringed gull 4FC was also allowing good photographic opportunities. The metal ring sequence is 6J4019 which you can see to some extent in the bottom image, but it’s also clear why reading these metal rings in the field requires patience and dedication.
Some of the Herring Gulls were looking rather smart as they enter breeding plumage. It always feels like there should be Yellow-legged or Caspian Gulls in the throng, but I guess the majority are local birds that nest on the roof of Blackpool Victoria Hospital unlike the Black-headed Gulls that are mostly migrants.