Slaty-backed Gull - Pitsea Landfill, Essex 3rd February 2011
Bird is the one that was present at Rainham Tip 2 weeks ago and is showing a few minor changes, most notably the bill marks and the level of head streaking. I have detailed the features that match the Rainham bird. The bird was first seen at 3.52pm at range of about 70metres for a couple of minutes before it flew over us and was lost to view. I then relocated the bird about 10-15minutes later in the mellie where these shots were obtained, the bird was against the light thus these shots are pretty back lit.
Hover over the image below to show the features that matches the Rainham bird
This small white mark, arrowed below, is visible in Dominic Mitchells images
I have marked the head shot below which indicates the features that match the Rainham bird, albeit in slightly less obvious and faded:
- dark ear covert patch
- red gonydeal spot is small and point towards the bill tip
- dark mark at rear of red gony spot is present but less obvious
- dark mark on the upper mandible is present but far less obvious
- dark 'blotch' on shoulder matches position of that seen on the Rainham bird.
Also note the insipid bill colour being almost whitish with pale yellower tip and culmen.
Slaty-backed Gull - Pitsea Landfill, Essex 19th February 2011
Refound the Slaty-backed Gull back at the landfill mid morning where I was able to obtain further images of the bird whilst Simon Buckell, was also able to get some video footage, click on the link below, before it flew around the tip and out of sight. It was later seen by about 15-20 birders from Wat Tyler Country Park when it was on Vange Wick, albeit distantly.
The wet and dull conditions made photography of the bird a challenge as well as being about 50-70 metres away, so the images here are not as good as they could have been and is a half image crop, the bird is rather damp.