Sunday, 29 November 2009

The first GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL for Scandinavia

I have frequented Århus Harbour several times a week during the last couple of months.
On Friday, 27/11-2009 for example, I went down to the harbour around noon. Among several hundred Argentatus Herring Gulls on the eastern part of the harbour I refound an adult Caspian Gull (or possibly a hybrid with Herring Gull) that has been around the harbour for a month and was also present in 2007. Satisfied with finally getting some decent flight shots of the possible hybrid, I arrived 1315 hours at the central part of the harbour in search of the 4cy Mediterranean Gull that has been seen in the harbour the last three winters.
One of the first large gulls I saw here was a sleeping bird right in front of me. The washed-out grey colouration on the breast was very pronounced, which had me thinking, that I had never seen a Herring Gull with a breast-colouration that looked so much like a Glaucous-winged Gull !
I decided to take some pictures of, what I considered at the time to be an aberrant Herring Gull, but as I was getting ready to photograph the bird, it turned around and showed its grey primaries with small white tips and a small dark eye. The identification was actually instant, although I was not sure that I could eliminate some hybrid influence from Western Gull at first sight. I took some pictures and phoned around. It was a near adult - perhaps 4th winter - pure GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL - the first record for DENMARK and the first record for Scandinavia. Over the next 80 minutes about 20 local birders arrived and saw the bird, before it flew high west at 1435 - high above the city-centre of Århus - the second largest city in Denmark. When it flew off we got some good flight shots and could see that the wing pattern looked very promising for a pure GWG.
Despite a rather intensive search by about 80 birders on Saturday the bird has so far not been seen again.
For more pictures see our blog on birding in the Århus-area - and Kent Olsens blog on danish gulls -
Rune Sø Neergaard

1 comment:

  1. The Danish Glaucous-winged Gull was relocated today in Aarhus Harbor, but seen for just a few minutes before it was flying off again.

    The latest week has given massive influx of large gulls in the harbor as snow and frost reduces feeding opportunities in the hinterland; thus the large gulls stay and feed in the harbor throughout the day giving superb conditions for gull watching.

    See video from today at GullDK