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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Funny-looking Iceland Gull at Dingle

Ok, when I say, 'Funny-looking', I hope you haven't been sucked into click-bait territory, along with the classic YouTube clips of piano-playing cats, and dogs that have learned to 'go' properly on a loo AND flush after, while their simpering owners look on. I hope you haven't clicked on the the link in preparation for a - literally - funny looking Iceland Gull with, say, pierced nipples and a neck tattoo, or wearing a perfect little pair of wellington boots while dancing in the rain with an umbrella. No. By funny-looking, I mean, well, weird.

Here's the culprit, at Dingle last week.

Weird second winter (third calendar year) Iceland Gull, Dingle, 25th March 2018 (M.O'Clery).

What's so weird about it, I hear you saying? To clarify, of course I don't actually 'hear' you saying that, as such, more that, in a virtual sense, as in 'virtual reality', I imagine you saying... OK, let me re-phrase that first sentence.

What's so weird about it, I imagine you saying to yourself while looking at the image online?

Then again, you probably wouldn't say it out loud, probably just think it, to yourself... 

Let me try this one more time.

What's so weird about it, I imagine you thinking to yourself while viewing the image online, alone and in silence?

But then, how would I know if you were alone? And there might be background noise, like a telly on in the background. Or distant traffic...?

Oh, for feck sake, I'm over-analysing, let's move on...

What's so weird about it? Well, let me use a bit of PhotoShop magic on it to demonstrate...

So, in the same image below, with the entire outer wing removed, if you saw this bird you might immediately shout, "Classic Kumlien's Gull flying right!", or actually more likely,  "Severely injured classic Kumlien's Gull flying right!" Quite possibly followed by, "Wow... how the feck is that thing still flying?".

Classic Kumlien's Gull, Dingle, 25th March 2018 (M.O'Clery and PhotoShop).

Thing is, going back to the original image, it looks like this bird has moulted all it's outer wing, but not any of the inner wing. Weird. Then, the outer primaries that are there now not only look pale, as in Iceland Gull pale, but the inner primaries are darker than the outer ones. Double weird.

And then you see it sitting in the water (photo below). Ok, Almost pure white primaries, so, an Iceland Gull. But look at the contrast... Weird.

Scratch the classic Kumlien's Gull rubbish. It's an Iceland Gull. But a weird one. Dingle, 25th March 2018 (M.O'Clery).

At least there were other Kumlien's to look at in Dingle that day. Below, two far more plausible candidates are shown below.

Non-weird first-winter (second calendar-year) Kumlien's Gull, Dingle, 25th March 2018 (M.O'Clery).

First-winter (second calendar-year) Kumlien's Gull, Dingle, 25th March 2018 (M.O'Clery).

Different individual to the one above (note the missing inner primary on the first).

First winter (second calendar-year) Kumlien's Gull, Dingle, 25th March 2018 (M.O'Clery).

With thanks to Anthony McGeehan and Bruce Mactavish. Have a look at their respective blogs... Anthony's HERE and Bruce's HERE.