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!

Paul

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