viernes, 11 de febrero de 2011

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) at Málaga, 3.2.2011



Larus delawarensis, Málaga 3.2.2011 © Adam Wilson


Adam Wilson & Dominic Davidson saw a Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) at Guadalhorce river mouth, Málaga, on the 3rd of February 2011. In the report they sent to this blog and the rarities committe (despite the species is no longer a national rarity) they quote as follows:

'I picked up the bird preening and bathing at the edge of the river near the sea. I jogged within earshot of Dom, who was getting something from the car, and told him I had a Ring-billed Gull. We both then watched it for half an hour as it continued to bathe and preen. It was slightly bigger than the nearby Black-headed Gulls, and therefore clearly not one of the large white-headed gull species. The legs were pale green. The bill was broader than Common Gull. The basal two-thirds were yellow, sharply demarcated from the black distal part of the bill (almost a third), which was in turn sharply demarcated from the yellow tip. The bill wasn’t quite as ‘ringed’ as an adult. The iris was pale (paler than the bill and certainly not as yellow – perhaps whitish). The upperparts and wings were only very slightly darker than the Black-headed Gulls, and therefore much paler than Common Gull. The white tips to the tertials and secondaries were narrower than Common Gull and blended into the grey. The underparts were white, as was the tail. The head and neck were white with brownish-grey flecks on the crown, nape, and rear neck. There was a dark smudge in front of the eye. On the deck, the visible primary tips were black with no white tips or mirrors visible on the upperside. The underside of the longest primary looked black with a white, diagonal, sub-terminal line. In flight, black could also be seen on the greater primary coverts. After watching the bird for half an hour we thought we’d be able to entice it in for some flight shots by offering it some bread. We were both shocked and disappointed when, in response to throwing the bread high into the air, the Ring-billed and Black-headed Gulls took flight and headed directly away from us. The Black-headed Gulls settled on the sea about 100 metres from the river mouth, and the Ring-billed flew along the beach towards Malaga without stopping'.


The Ring-billed Gull is a scarcity 'near-rarity' in Spain, even more in the Mediterranean basin where it's even scarcer than in the Atlantic seafront. Hence this interesting observation will be considered for publication in the Noticiario section of Ardeola journal, the place where 'near rarities' or 'former rarities' records are collected.






Resumen. Gaviota de Delaware (L.delawarensis) en Málaga, 3.2.2011. Adam Wilson y Dominic Davidson observaron y grabaron en video una gaviota de Delaware en la desembocadura del Guadalhorce el dia 3.2.2011. Se trata de una especie 'casi rareza' muy escasa en la costa mediterránea, de aquí su interés.

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