Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kleine Burgemeester

On one of my recent outings I discovered yet another uncommon gull, by uncommon I mean not likely to be seen at any given pier, rubbish dump or car park unless your either very lucky or regularly keep an eye out for them. The Mediterranean gull from December fits into this bill considering its an unusual but by no means rare species (unless your me apparently). Anyway...the uncommon gull I found this time was an Iceland gull, my first Iceland gull in fact.Whats more I was lucky enough to encounter it in one of those semi social moods that meant it was somewhat approachable. It is not an adult bird but I would have to say that this is one of those rare cases where the non adult plumage is nicer! It looks entirely white from a distance. The white extends even to the tips of its wings which in all the everyday Irish species are black.

The Iceland gull winters here from its nesting ground in places like Canada and Greenland, but interestingly not Iceland. I must say I prefer the Dutch name kleine burgemeester, which translates to ‘little mayor’. The much bigger but similar Glaucous gull (which I have yet to find) is fittingly called ‘Big mayor’.

And look! Last week at the Lough back in Cork city I managed to spot another Iceland gull. Pretty crazy since I had never seen one that I would suddenly find 2 in the space of a week (I looked last winter too!). The Lough pics where not as good ;)

On another trip I took some pics of the two polar opposites in gull land, the delicate but stunning kittiwake (always a favourite), and the massive and imposing great black backed gull (also always a favourite). These guys are common of coarse, but always worth a shot!

And my favourite gull species (kidding), a Goldfinch in a tree, if only that one twig hadn’t been there. Still closest shot one of these finches has let me get, so I’m happy!

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