I was unable to get in to the field on 11/01 when Paul Hyde found what appears to have been a new Juv. Glaucous Gull at Bubbenhall Lakes. That evening John Judge and Paul saw both the Ad./Sub.Ad. birds I found between 08-10/01 and a pale Juv. which may well have been the individual photographed at Shawell the same day. John found another Juv. on 13/01 at Bubbenhall Lakes with Gus Ariss.

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Juv. Glaucous Gull, Bubbenhall Lakes. Photo by John Judge.

I got back out at the first opportunity on 14/01 and met Dan Watson and Mike Doughty-Lee at Bubbenhall Lakes. There were few birds present and it was slow going but eventually I found a 1st W Caspian Gull. We decided to leave for Draycote and just as we turned Dan picked up a white-winger in flight which helpfully landed on the closest pool.   It was a Juv. Iceland Gull and a striking bird. The plumage of white winged gulls wears quickly due to the low levels of dark pigmentation and by the time most reach the UK they are bleached to varying degrees. This bird had comparatively dark head and body plumage, well defined dark centres to the scapulars and coverts and brown primaries with broad pale fringes and tiny brown sub-terminal arrowhead markings. The pattern of the folded primaries was reminiscent of the Kumlien’s Gull which was at Draycote Water 06-09/02/08 whilst the strongly marked scapulars recalled the kumlieni which fed at Weston and roosted at Draycote from 15-24/01/15, as did the dark head and body plumage.   After a couple of minutes bathing it flew off towards Ryton exposing a uniform tail and lack of contrast in the primaries which identified it as a nominate glaucoides.  These shots of mine are of poor quality and underexposed but I have not altered the light levels.

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Juv. Iceland Gull, Bubbenhall Lakes 14/01/17.

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Juv. Iceland Gull, Bubbenhall Lakes 14/01/17.

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Juv. Iceland Gull, Bubbenhall Lakes 14/01/17.

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Juv. Iceland Gull, Bubbenhall Lakes 14/01/17

Steve Clifton has recently photographed another dark, fresh looking Juv. Iceland Gull in Yorkshire. It was almost surprising to see just one white-winger in the Draycote roost that night, a Juv. Glaucous Gull found by John. This was another dark individual taking the tally thus far to 3 Ad./Sub.Ad., two pale and two dark juveniles. The only other bird of note in the roost was the 1st W Caspian Gull seen earlier at Bubbenhall, picked out by Dan.