Three Franklins gulls
There was no new visit today, but whilst filing some photos I realised there have been three Franklins gulls, though never more than two on the same day, such are the wonders of digital photography. The top two are cut from the same photo, when they were together on 30 July. Bird 1 has much less white, but the white still extends up the forehead to level with the eye and onto the upper throat. Neither has any white pimary wing tips, hence the thought they are first summer (born 2010) birds. Bird 3, photographed on its own six days later (5 August) has much less white on the face, not extending up the forehead or down the throat and giving a distinct stripe. Also, less conclusively as it can depend on how the wings are held, it has slight white primary wing tips.
Franklins gull is a Canadian and northern USA breeder , so would be moulting out of its breeding plumage of full black hood in July and August, so bird 3 photographed later cannot be one of the other birds moving in to breeding plumage. I do not know the species well enough to say if it is another first winter or a moulting adult. Hopefully we will get an answer from North America.
It has been a strange series of records, but now the blog should move on to proper Senegalese birds!
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The defunct, twin volcanoes of Mamelles, in Dakar’s Ouakam arrondissement, with Cape Verde Shearwaters and Bottle-nosed Dolphins. The rocky coast of Dakar, forming the Cap Vert Important Bird Area, is an outstanding site for seabirds (photo: P. Robinson). Technopole and its numerous waders, herons, gulls, terns and other waterbirds (including Greater Flamingos when conditions are right) is one of the best sites for birds in the greater Dakar region, So is Iles de la Madeleine, and further afield the Saloum Delta at Palmarin (photos: B. Piot)
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