The last days a few spring arrivals have given the feeling of brighter times to come. A few oystercatchers or shalder as the shetlenders call them (tjaldur in faroese) spend the entire winter here, but lots of birds have arrived during the last weeks including 36 at Kirkjubø. Other birds include some 10 curlews, one greater scaup and 2 chaffinches. So it is getting better and better – and of course all these birds are year ticks.
There are still some white-wingers around including two 3 cy and one adult iceland gull and two 2cy kumliens gulls in Klaksvík along with a 2cy glaucous gull. Besides that single iceland gulls have been seen at Runavík, Sørvágur and Hvannasund and a new 2 cy kumliens gull was at Leirvík on the 28. february. This brings the total to at least five different birds in just two weeks and the total number of iceland gulls to about 30.
There is still a very long way to reach the 350 iceland gulls in january-april 2009 with 17 accepted records of kumliens gulls but those times were mad! Anyways I’ve found all the kumliens gulls this time, so maybe a few more birders would bring the total to 10 or 15?
On the pictures you can hopefully see the difference between the birds. ROC could be a 3 cy due to the very glaucous gull-like bill and overall pale impression, but many show a pale saddle at this time, so I’m not sure.
Larsson is maybe on the limit of being a clear Kumlieni as it is very pale. But the bird still shows obvious tail band, dark bill and some dark markings in the primaries. And as with all birds colours should be estimated from the overall impression. This is a very pale individual where tail and primaries are darker then the birds colour overall and thus I would call this a pale kumliens gull.