I saw a white-winged gull on the beach at Druridge tonight. At frist I thought it was a glaucous gull, but it didn't 'look right' for a glauc. It was a fair way off, on the edge of the tideline.
My conclusion is, without better views, that it was a leucistic herring gull. The head shape and the depth/length/shape of the bill looked good for herring gull. It certainly was odd and looked like a full adult or maybe a third summer bird? It was generally all-over white, apart from some light grey on the wings, it looked a bit 'bright' for glaucous gull too.
Any local birders seen it about?
There was a leusistic herring gull reported from East Chevington on Sunday, but I didn't see it. I did however see one there last year at this time (1st July) and watched it for some time before it flew off. Very pale, pink bill with dark tip, but sullied wingtips gave it away as not being an Iceland or a glauc. I sent a couple of photos to the bird club to warn of its presence. One was published in the bulletin for July 2010.
Edit. After checking my photos I see it wasn't the wingtips that were darker. It was some parts of the inner primaries, alula and coverts.
Iain, I've emailed you some pics, they aren't mine, of a leucistic Herring Gull from North Shields, taken just recently, when it was claimed as a 3rd summer Iceland Gull
Did it look like this?
Not at all, looked like a bird Richard Dunn sent me shots of though, I'll upload one later
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