|The 2017-18 Thayer's.|
After birding a little further south last Friday I moved up the coast to the Tsu gull beach as the wind had been dropping through the morning making gulling a better proposition. On arrival there were surprisingly few large gulls present, I've noticed previously that many gulls stay further out on the water in very windy conditions but it's also quite likely that local Vega will be leaving now. This doesn't mean there soon won't be any Vega, more a case of there being different Vega appearing in unpredictable numbers as birds wintering further south drift north through the area.
The overwintering Thayer's was performing quite well but unfortunately there was no sign of the possible second bird I saw last visit.
Getting better views I noticed it has irregular gaps in median and lesser wing coverts (both wings above and below) and also p1 (both wings) looks as though it stopped growing short of the normal length.
|The paler saddle is quiet easy to pick out amongst other gulls when it's on the sea. It can be far more difficult to find once it gets its head down in loafing flocks on the beach.|
|Still obvious on the fringe of the flock. Even at this distance it's possible to see white feather bases revealed by missing inner coverts.|