Seeing a little double

Tony Marr has seen an adult or near-adult Little Gull at The Butt on several occasions now, from 17 March up to today. Not surprisingly in view of its scarcity up here, it’s just about annual on Lewis, it was considered that just one bird was involved, as the records are all from the cove called Port Stoth, or by the roadside pool just beyond there.

However when Tony downloaded the photos of Fridays bird, and out of interest, looked back at his earlier pictures he began to query what was going on. These show that in fact two birds are involved – unless Little Gull plumages regress! In particular, the second series of views, around 4th April, show that the two black spots on the face of the bird seen in March were merging into the development of a hood, with dark grey nape and crown.

In contrast, the bird seen on Friday to Sunday is still in winter plumage – in fact 2nd year plumage (note he wingtip pattern on the posting for Sunday). So there has been two! Thanks to Tony for working this unlikely conundrum out.

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