Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Yellow-legged Gulls

The past winter once again brought a handfull of new Yellow-legged records for Limerick with four birds recorded, slighty up on last winter's haul of three individuals and including at least two new birds to the area.  First up was a 2nd winter bird at Thomond Weir in Limerick City on 31/12/2017, the eight record for the County.  For a bird about to enter its third calendar year it had advanced plumage on much of the scapulars, tertials, lesser and median coverts as well as a few all white tail feathers.  It also had a distinct yellow tone on its legs.

Advanced 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull

A week later on 6/1/2018 another 2nd winter bird turned up at O'Callaghan's Strand in the City.  This bird however had noticeably less advanced plumage on the lesser and median coverts than the new bird found the previous week.  Interestingly it looked like and behaved very like the 1st winter bird that frequented the same area a year earlier.  It was relatively tame as big gulls go and was still exhibiting the same begging posture and calls as the previous year's bird.

Returning 2nd Winter Yellow-legged Gull.

Next up was a 1st winter bird again at O'Callaghan's Strand on 17/2/18, a ninth record for the County.

1st winter Yellow-legged Gull

Finally I found an adult bird frequenting the area between Corbally Weir, on the northern edge of the City, and the Athlunkard area on the Co. Clare side of the River Shannon on 13/1/2018.  Once again this bird's habits were very similar to the 3rd winter bird that I found in the same area a year previously.
Adult Yellow-legged Gull

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