Oh yes another ill-informed piece on gulls is in the offing.
Since it is now clear to go over the police scrape, which by the way is looking good after a bit of rain, with the removal of Newham's firework fencing, I decided to go by Jub first thing. After picking my way over what in arable terms is called a ploughed field, I arrived at "new" Jub expecting very little. As usual at this time of the morning a sizable flock of gulls was waiting for the witless to bring them flour-based products. A quick scan and I thought I'd found an interesting bird...
As it hadn't flown after a couple of dog walkers and early drunks had passed it, I went round to get a closer look. Now I don't have to say this, and everybody knows I am crap with gulls, but I was still none the wiser when I got quite close. I could see elements of Med, which are quite obvious from the pictures here, so what I was thinking about I have no idea. I did show them to Tony B later, when we met up by Long Wood and, not surprisingly from the back of the camera, he was not sure either.
However things became a lot clearer while we looked through the main group of gulls, which congregate within commuting distance of the Alex. I pretty quickly picked up what I thought was the same bird, dark-small-bill, closest to us. A second look and we agreed it was another Med, a first winter one this so not Valentino or the adult of a couple of days previous.
Even better, when it managed to raise itself from its slumber, rings on both legs (green plastic left/metal band right). Interesting, and certainly not my bird, in fact nothing like it at all. Then Tony found what was probably my bird at the back of the pack before it hoofed it west. Two Meds? Unheard of, and two new birds.
From Tony's pics and his diligent use of what's left of his free time he managed to contact the German ringing organisation that tracked returns. He's still waiting on the exact location, but Germany - wow!
On my return home I had a look at the Helm's and my pics. Now obviously a 1st winter Med too, which is a bit of a shame as the first page I turned to in the Helm's was of a Saunder's Gull. I quite like the look of that.
What Valentino thinks of it all ...