Monday, 13 April 2015

Smithsonianus Jericho farm

  The (annoyingly) "classic" Jericho bird was still taking advantage of the dumped shellfish waste on Friday the 11th, and still managing to be almost impossible to photograph thanks to cr*p light, feeding behind a wall, and the whole site being too exposed to allow closer approach without detection by the gulls or the local Purple-faces! The shots below aren't much use, and certainly don't help remove the (in my opinion remote) niggling doubt over the bird's age, but here they are anyway. The underwing and under-tail coverts still look too messy for a 2nd cal. bird to me, but the rest of the bird looks remarkably like  this age-class. The "new" grey mantle and scapulars looked un-marked but conversely I wonder if they should be paler grey if they are truly "adult-like" 2nd s./"2nd alternate" feathers....? Presumably Mush is still camped out by the side of the road and will eventually release his far better images..

2nd w. L.smithsonianus, Jericho farm, St Just, Cornwall,  11/4/2015. Note onset of 1st complete moult as p1 has been dropped from both wings. Also note underwing cov.s darker distally, not as evenly dark as typical "1st year" and lack of sub-terminal spot/wedge on p2.

2nd w. L.smithsonianus, and 3 L.a.argenteus, Jericho farm, St Just, Cornwall, 11/4/2015. Note extensive "new" grey scapulars and lack of dark sub-terminal spot/wedge on p2.

"1st w." Iceland Gull, Lg.glaucoides, Brew, Sennen, Cornwall, 11/4/2015. Found by Lynton Proctor, this bird was performing far better than the smith! And at the risk of upsetting all the would-be larophiles who slavishly repeat the mantra "there's no such thing as a 1st winter Iceland Gull"- note the fresher, neater and darker-marked 2nd gen. scapulars (the sharpish contrast between the bleached upper-breast and neck with the breast-sides may  be down to new body ff too?). I will allow that it isn't really winter anymore, but as only the longest rearmost scap.s are old, bleached juv. ff I doubt the rest grew in the last week!

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