The storm is over and this morning the sun was shining and the gulls were flying outside the window. I headed out on my normal route. Same stunning numbers as yesterday were present in Klaksvík – about 150 birds. But it is really hard to get an accurate number. The birds move over a distance of about 4 km between the northern harbour, the fish factory and the beach. I counted 114 Iceland Gulls simultaneously around the fish factory knowing that another ground was at the northern harbour and yet another was at the beach. So 150 Iceland Gulls in Klaksvík today is a conservative estimate!
Most gulls were the same as yesterday probably, but I found at least 9 Kumlien’s Gulls and two dark individuals were surely new. There are quite a lot of birds that have faint markings, but it is written on birdingfrontiers, that glaucoides can show faint markings. So when I mention numbers of Kumlien’s Gulls on the blog I refer to pretty obvious Kumlien’s Gulls that are somewhat straight forward to identify.
I also checked Hvannasund and about 50 birds were present there including 7 Kumlien’s Gulls. And again at least two were surely new dark birds that I haven’t seen before. One of them was a true dream bird – a solid dark 4. winter – finally!
Interestingly enough 14 of the birds in Hvannasund were first winter-birds. It has been quite a mystery why 40 to 50 % have been second winter and the number of first winter birds has been so low. One part of the explanation could be the breeding success in 2010 and 2011, but with these new first winters arriving it doesn’t look like the breeding season of 2011 has been a total disaster for the Iceland Gulls.
Rodmund tried to relocate the dark Herring Gull from yesterday, but most of the gulls in Sørvágur had departed and only about 15 Iceland Gulls were present today. I’ve received a few comments about the bird and they all pretty much state the same. It looks very interesting and some features seem to suggest that it could be a smithsonianus, but the images are too poor to say anything conclusive.