Adw Med Gull Seaforth NR 18th Jan 2010Anglesey
Lancashire and Merseyside2 Adw Med Gulls at Heysham Harbour.
Lancashire and Merseyside
Adw Ring-billed Gull again at Seaforth NR (permit only), also 3 Adw Med Gulls and 2 Adw + 1 1stw Yellow-legged Gulls.
Adw Yellow-legged Gull at Scotsman's Flash.Cheshire and Wirral
Lancashire and Merseyside
1stw Med Gull at Fishmoor Resr near Blackburn.
There was no hint of any late-winter improvement in numbers of white-winged gulls. A grand total of 18 Iceland Gulls and just 16 Glaucous Gulls were recorded, but an adult Kumlien's Gull was found at Killybegs (Co. Donegal) on 15th. Caspian Gulls too featured less frequently than in previous weeks; only 18 or so were noted, but these included two different birds, on consecutive days, for Seaforth (Merseyside) — a first-winter on 12th and an adult on 13th. Two second-winters were at Chasewater (Staffordshire) on 13th, two first-winters were at Appleford (Oxfordshire) on 15th and a couple of birds were in Northamptonshire during the week. A third-winter cachinnans was seen at Hayling Island (Hampshire) and then East Head (East Sussex) on 14th.In Essex, two adult Ring-billed Gulls have been seen "recently" on the tip at Pitsea (no public access there sadly), while at Southend-on-Sea "Rossi" the Ring-bill was still in place for another week. An adult Ring-billed Gull was at Copperhouse Creek (Cornwall) on 11th (eeee, just like the old days!) and other grown-ups were still in Hampshire and Argyll. In Ireland, at least 12 birds were seen, with three in Donegal and two each for Derry, Sligo, Galway and Limerick, and one in Antrim.
In County Cork, the adult Bonaparte's Gull was still at Baltimore on 4th–5th. The rather average winter for white-winged gulls showed little sign of improving: only 17 Iceland Gulls and 22 Glaucous Gulls were recorded this week, with a couple of each (at least) for Staffordshire.
Three Caspian Gulls were at Albert village lake (Leicestershire) on 6th, with two each for London and Oxfordshire (out of a figure for the week of 17). A first-winter was again noted at Richmond Bank (Cheshire).In Pembrokeshire, an adult Ring-billed Gull was back for its fourth February in a row at Llys-y-Fran Reservoir on 6th (it has actually been visiting for five years, but was only seen in the January of 2006). Elsewhere, Scotland scored two (at Oban and Strathclyde Loch) and England two (in Hampshire and Essex) while Ireland clocked up at least 14, with four or five in Cork, three together in Galway (at Nimmo's Pier — with another alongside the Thayer's Gull at Cleggan), and singles in Antrim, Wicklow, Kerry, Sligo, Mayo (a second-winter near Crossmolina) and Donegal.
One of the finds of the week was most certainly the adult Bonaparte's Gull that spent 90 minutes or so off the breakwater at South Gare (Cleveland), only the third record for the county (following accepted records in 1977 and 2006). Another new Bonaparte's Gull was at Baltimore (Co. Cork) on 1st–3rd, while on Anglesey the adult Bonaparte's Gull was still coming into Lligwy Bay until 30th. In Ireland, the adult American Herring Gull was seen again at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway) on 28th.
Some 25 Iceland Gulls were recorded this week, including three birds at Peterhead (Aberdeenshire) on 31st and three or four birds around Orkney. Glaucous Gulls nudged past their white-winged counterparts with at least 28 birds, including three different birds in Staffordshire and two each for Kent, Cleveland and Aberdeenshire (both birds at Loch of Strathbeg on 29th).
Caspian Gulls mustered some 25 birds, including up to five in the West Midlands (three at Highfield South tip near Walsall on 30th), another five or six birds around London (including three at Rainham Marshes on 3rd) and two first-winters together at Aldeby tip (Norfolk) on 1st. Further first-winters were found at Richmond Bank (Cheshire) on 29th and Sutton Bridge (Lincolnshire) on 2nd, with Cheshire's second of the week, an adult, also taking a bow at Richmond Bank, this one on 3rd.Ireland triumphed handsomely this week with Ring-billed Gull numbers, an 18–4 win over Britain, helped hugely by nine in County Cork on 31st (four at Great Island, four more at Rosscarbery and one at Ballydehob — all bar one an adult). Three adults were around Nimmo's Pier, two were around Limerick City and further adults were in Antrim, Kerry and Sligo. A second-winter Ring-billed Gull was found at Killybegs (Co. Donegal) on 30th (perhaps the same bird that has spent time in the county town?).
The stunning dark juvenile gull that lingered on Ross Beach, Cleggan (Co. Galway) for much of the past seven days was initially seen at the tail end of last week. It was thought, initially, to have been perhaps a hybrid (with maybe some Glaucous-winged Gull influence) or perhaps a juvenile American Herring Gull. Persistence paid off this week though for the bird's finder; as the west-coast weather settled down a little, this ultra-distinctive individual could be scrutinised in more convivial conditions, and, on 22nd, the bird was finally identified as a Thayer's Gull. It remained for admirers to 26th. As is often the way, there has been further debate as to the bird's identity, but many people seem content that the correct conclusion has been reached now.
British birders not willing to cross the Irish Sea are still waiting for their first Thayer's Gull (although the bird in Oxfordshire, Derbyshire and North Yorkshire in the winter of 2007/08 ran it close; very close in fact). However, Ireland has at least six down on the record books (including one for the north) since the first accepted record, in County Cork in February 1990.
On Anglesey, the adult Bonaparte's Gull was continuing to drop in to Lligwy Bay from 21st–27th. An adult Kumlien's Gull was seen at the Cotswold Water Park (Wiltshire) on 23rd and may well be the bird seen at Cricklade on 21st. Iceland Gulls included at least four around Orkney (out of a total for the week of around 16 birds), while Glaucous Gulls again outscored their smaller white-winged allies, with at least 20 birds noted including three birds in Staffordshire and two in London, Staffordshire and Cleveland.Caspian Gulls were again much in evidence this week, with perhaps as many as 36 birds recorded. Up to 13 birds have been seen around London, including six at Rainham Marshes on 23rd and four at Beddington SF the previous day. Four birds were seen at Wat Tyler CP (Essex) on 23rd and as many as seven have been seen recently around Appleford tip in Oxfordshire (where the Azorean Atlantic Gull still seems to be still residing from time to time). Up to five birds have been seen in Leicestershire during the week, including three at Shawell on 21st, but the big draw there (on the same day) was the adult Ring-billed Gull, the first in the county for almost four years and only the third since the start of the 2000s. The bird reappeared briefly on the morning of 22nd, but has failed to show since. Regular adult Ring-billed Gulls were in Hampshire, Essex and Argyll, while the second-winter was seen again at Strathclyde Loch (Clyde) on 23rd. Three birds (all adults) were noted in County Cork on 23rd, including two at Cuskinny Marsh, and three further adults were still at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway) on 24th.
On Anglesey, an adult Bonaparte's
Gull was a decent find in Lligwy Bay on 14th and the bird continued
to show, albeit only from time to time, until 18th. Another adult was
seen in County Cork, at Cuskinny, on 17th. In Ireland, the adult American
Herring Gull was still at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway this week), seen
on 15th-18th, and a juvenile was eventually identified on Ross Beach,
Cleggan, on 19th.
Ireland continued to dominate where Ring-billed Gulls were concerned, with birds in Antrim, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Londonderry, Limerick and Sligo. In England, the usual suspects were still in Hampshire and Essex, while at Chew Valley Lake (Somerset) a first-winter was seen on 15th and an adult was seen again on 16th. The adult was again at Seaforth (Lancashire) on 17th and a first-winter was on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall) on 18th. A second-winter at Ravensthorpe Reservoir on 19th was new in Northamptonshire. In Scotland, an adult was again at Oban and a first-winter was at Kinneil Lagoons (Forth).
Iceland Gulls and Glaucous Gulls were rather thin on the ground, the latter species including two at Rainham Marshes (London) on 15th-20th. Around 20 Caspian Gulls were reported, with two different birds (a first-winter and an adult) seen during the week at Pegwell Bay in Kent and a first-winter at Prescot Reservoirs (Lancashire) on 16th. Amazing news, though, came from around the Vange Marsh area of Essex, where no fewer than 17 cachinnans have been seen recently, a truly remarkable figure (whether they were all in one go or in dribs and drabs!).
A possible second-winter Kumlien's Gull was reported from Carcroft (South Yorkshire) on 11th and a confirmed second-winter was near Irthlingborough (Northamptonshire) on 13th. The week's total of 22 Iceland Gulls included five at Stromness (Orkney) on 10th, and at least 27 Glaucous Gulls were seen, widely spread from Cornwall to Shetland.
Caspian Gulls were again well represented: at least 30 birds were found, including four at Dartford (Kent) on 10th. Also on 10th, three birds were seen at Blackborough End tip (Norfolk) and the previous day saw three at Fen Drayton Lakes (Cambridgeshire). Three different birds were noted at Rainham Marshes (London) during the week. Most others were seen in Midland counties, although the adult was still in Hampshire and Lancashire scored its second in a week when one appeared for several days at Seaforth NR until 11th (there have been fewer than ten previous records in the county).
Ireland beat the UK this week in terms of Ring-billed Gulls. There were two each for Antrim and Dublin (including a first-winter at Dun Laoghaire on 10th), with singles in Derry, Galway and Limerick. As well as regular birds in Hampshire, Essex and Argyll, an adult was at Seaforth on 8th + 9th and the second-winter was again at Strathclyde Loch on 10th and 12th.
A juvenile American Herring Gull was a neat find for birders at Corbally Road Reservoir (Co. Antrim) on 25th and an adult Bonaparte's Gull on the Gannel Estuary (Cornwall) on 28th would have been equally exciting for the finders. Also from the other side of the Atlantic was the second-winter Kumlien's Gull found at Arlington Reservoir (East Sussex) on 25th, with another (un-aged) Kumlien's Gull reported at Gibraltar Point (Lincolnshire) on 1st. At least 35 Iceland Gulls included 14 in Scotland, while 17 of the 28 Glaucous Gulls reported were seen in England.
Caspian Gulls were seen in 16 different counties, with at least 45 birds noted, including a magnificent eight birds at Rainham Marshes (London) on 5th. At least eight were in Staffordshire (four each at Chasewater and Kingswood), up to four where seen in Derbyshire and three were reported in Northamptonshire. Also of note were the adult that (re)appeared at Blashford Lakes (Hampshire) between 24th and 3rd â€” this may well be the bird seen the same site on a few dates around the same time last winter â€” and the first-winter at Pilling (Lancashire) on 5thâ€“6th.It's been a good couple of weeks for Ring-billed Gulls, particularly in Ireland, where at least 20 birds were seen, including eight in County Cork alone, three of which were seen at Clonakilty on 26th. Three more were at Sandymount (Co. Dublin) on 4th. Two adults were also seen at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway) on 2nd. Four birds were seen in Scotland: a first-winter at Kinneil Lagoons (Forth) on 4th, a second-winter at Strathclyde Loch (Clyde) on 28thâ€“3rd and adults at Findhorn (Moray) and Ormsary (Argyll), both on 29th. Seven English birds included a first-winter reported in Gloucestershire on 25th and adults in Worcestershire from 28th, Shropshire from 29th, Lancashire on 4th and Cornwall on 6th.
On Scilly, an adult summer BONAPARTE'S GULL was a nice surprise on Porthloo Beach, St. Mary's on 5th and on 6th, a summer LAUGHING GULL was found on Foula (Shetland) - the Solitary Sandpiper appearing half an hour later! A first-winter CASPIAN GULL was at Dungeness (Kent) and was the only record of the week. Only 35 or so ICELAND GULLS were noted this week, with half a dozen seen around the Outer Hebrides, at least three on Orkney and three at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway) as well.
An adult KUMLIEN'S GULL was again at Loch Ryan (Dumfries & Galloway) on 2nd-4th. The week's haul of GLAUCOUS GULLS just managed to make it to double figures, with three birds at Ullapool (Highland) on 6th. Two first-winter RING-BILLED GULLS (one of them a new arrival) were at the marina in Antrim on 30th-1st and a first-summer Ring-billed Gull was at Cuskinny Marsh (Co. Cork) on May Day, with two birds there on 6th.
The only CASPIAN GULL of the week was a second-summer reported at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea (Northumberland) on 24th. This week saw a slight hike in numbers of ICELAND GULLS: up from 45 to at least 65 birds, including 10 still at Killybegs (Co. Donegal) on 23rd. A juvenile KUMLIEN'S GULL was seen at the southern end of mainland Shetland on 23rd-26th with another Shetland juvenile on Whalsay on 28th. The third juvenile of the week was at Shawbost (Lewis) on 26th and it or another juvenile was seen at Loch Barvas, also on Lewis, on 29th.
An adult Kumlien's Gull was on Loch Ryan (Dumfries & Galloway) on 28th.The second-winter "Kumlien's Gull" was seen again at Blackborough End (Norfolk) on 25th, but photos of the bird show it to be closer in appearance to a Herring Gull (albeit an oddly marked one, or possibly some sort of Herring Gull hybrid); it certainly isn't the county's first Kumlien's Gull. Only around 20 GLAUCOUS GULLS were seen during the week but did include one with four Orcas off the Butt of Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on 26th while, also on the Hebrides, four birds were seen at Rubha Ardvule, South Uist on 27th. An adult RING-BILLED Gull was seen at Ballyheige Bay (Co. Kerry) on 25th and the second-winter was still at Lamby Lake (Glamorgan) on 28th.
Slaty-backed Gull in Latvia, still at Riga Tip 16th April.
Breaking news Bonaparte's Gull in Glamorgan.
Ad at Cardiff on River Taff on West side of Taff Estuary at end of Jim Driscoll Way + 50yds South of pontoons.
There are 159 accepted records of Bonaparte's Gull in Britain and 41 in Ireland.
The most recent published record for Glamorgan was in 2006.
Juv Thayer's Gull at Eysturoy at Runavik Faroe Islands for 2nd day.
The adult AMERICAN HERRING GULL was still being seen around Nimmo's Pier and Galway Docks to 3rd and a late report of a second-winter bird at Seaforth (Lancashire) on 25th was backed up by a number of impressive-looking photographs - it has a lot going for it and is no ordinary "Herring Gull". Over 20 CASPIAN GULLS were noted this week. An adult was again at Albert Village lake (Leicestershire) early in the week, and another Leicestershire adult was at Eyebrook Reservoir on 26th. First-winter birds were seen at Paxton Pits (Cambridgeshire), Belvide Reservoir (Staffordshire) Willen Lake (Buckinghamshire) and again at Sandbach Flashes (Cheshire), while a near-adult was at Westbere GPs (Kent) and adults were at Swillington Ings (West Yorkshire), Leadenham (Lincolnshire) Blackborough End tip (Norfolk) and Dungeness (Kent). Two birds were at Pitsea tip (Essex) on 28th and Rainham Marshes (London) on 2nd and 3rd.
The 2nd also saw four Caspian Gulls (an adult, two third-winters and a second-winter) appear at Hockwold Fen, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. ICELAND GULLS remained in three figures this week, with at least 95 birds seen around Britain and 40 or more over in Ireland. On 28th, nine birds were counted at Nimmo's Pier with 10 birds (an adult, two second-winters and seven juveniles) across at Rossaveal. The only KUMLIEN'S GULLS this week were two birds at Nimmo's Pier (the adult and a third-winter) from 26th, the relocating (from Clifden) dark juvenile at Rossaveal (Co. Galway), a second-winter over Throckmorton Tip (Worcestershire) and on St. Mary's (Scilly), the juvenile was present all week.
The number of GLAUCOUS GULLS on the Gualan spit, South Uist (Outer Hebrides) hit a fantastic 19 birds on 1st and 3rd. These were part of some 100 birds seen in Britain and Ireland this week, with up to eight seen around the Mullet (Co. Mayo) on 2nd. Elsewhere it was largely singles or twos, although four birds seen at Ballycotton (Co. Cork) on 1st and four more at Liscannor (Co. Clare) on 3rd were also of note.
Ireland was still dominant in the RING-BILLED GULL stakes this week. Three adults were at Sandymount (Co. Dublin) on 2nd, and three adults were at Cuskinny Marsh (Co. Cork) and in Co. Derry on 3rd (where there were two together on the Faughan Estuary). Earlier in the week two adults were still at Nimmo's Pier and two birds (an adult and a second-winter) were seen at Cuskinny Marsh (Co. Cork). Further birds in Cork, both adults, were seen at Lough Aderra and Cobh, while elsewhere in the country, single adults were at Bray (Co. Wicklow) and in Limerick City. A first-winter was found in Donegal on 4th. Two first-winter birds were still in Cornwall, the usual bird at Helston and another was again at Dinham Flats on 1st. A first-winter Ring-billed Gull was a great find at Rainton Meadows (Co. Durham) on 28th, reappearing on 1st, and adults were found seen at Seaforth on 28th and Strathclyde Loch (Clyde) on 1st. Regular adults remained in Essex, Hampshire, Argyll and Angus, while the second-winter popped in again to Lamby Lake (Glamorgan) on 2nd.
An adult BONAPARTE'S GULL was again at Cobh (Co. Cork) on 20th (having last been seen here on 1st February). Last week's first-winter AMERICAN HERRING GULL at Budleigh Salterton (Devon) was seen again on 20th, while the adult at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway) was noted again on 21st. With no news from Pitsea tip this week, numbers of CASPIAN GULLS took a bit of a nose-dive, with only 17 birds recorded. Three (two adults and a third-winter) were seen at Albert Village lake (Leicestershire) on 20th and two (single second- and fourth-summer birds) were at Minsmere (Suffolk) on 23rd, with three birds the following day (including a third-winter and adult). Two singles were in Northamptonshire and Staffordshire, with one each for Berkshire, London, Oxfordshire, Kent, Derbyshire, Cheshire, West Yorkshire, along with another single in Suffolk.
ICELAND GULLS pretty much held their own this week - again, some 90 birds were recorded around Britain this week, while at least 55 were seen in Ireland. Six birds were counted at Moore NR (Cheshire) on 21st, while three juveniles were seen at Seaton (Devon) on 22nd. At least four individuals were at Albert Village lake in the early part of the week and at least five birds were seen at Mallaig (Highland) on 25th. In Ireland, up to nine birds were seen in County Down, seven birds were at Nimmo's Pier on 20th and 10 were at Killybegs (Co. Donegal) on 22nd. Second-winter KUMLIEN'S GULLS were recorded at four sites around the Midlands this week: at Priorslee Lake (Shropshire) and Belvide Reservoir (Staffordshire) on 20th, at Bartley Reservoir (West Midlands) on 22nd-25th and Wildmoor Sand Quarry (Worcestershire) on 23rd-24th. The juvenile remained on St. Mary's (Scilly) throughout the week. Two birds, an adult and a third-winter, remained at Nimmo's Pier during much of the week and, also in County Galway, third-winter birds were seen at Clifden and Rossaveal, with a juvenile at the latter site on 24th. An adult Kumlien's Gull was still at Killybegs on 21st.
With numbers of Iceland Gulls much as they were, GLAUCOUS GULLS in Britain saw numbers fall to almost half of last week's total, from 80 to around 50. At least 16 were still around the Gualan spit, South Uist (Outer Hebrides) to 22nd, while Irish numbers remained on a more even keel, with at least 41 seen, including nine at Annagh Head, the Mullet (Co. Mayo) on 20th (with three more at nearby Cross Strand) and eight at Killybegs. RING-BILLED GULLS mustered up to 20 birds this week, with half of them in Ireland, including four (an adult and three second-winters) at Cobh on 20th, a couple of adults still at Nimmo's Pier to 21st and an adult was also seen at Killybegs (funnily enough this is one of the scarcer gull species for the site). Two new birds were noted in Cornwall (a first-winter at Dinham Flats on 20th and a second-winter at the Hayle Estuary on 23rd). A second-winter was at Ferryside (Carmarthenshire) on 21st-22nd - this site was, of course, where Britain's first Glaucous-winged Gull was relocated - and notable adults were at Wareham (Dorset) on 20th, in Cheshire, at Sandbach Flashes on 21st-22nd and, on the cusp of Merseyside and Lancashire, at Seaforth on 23rd.
In Devon, a first-winter AMERICAN HERRING GULL was seen at Budleigh Salterton on the afternoon of 13th, but further searches proved fruitless. Numbers of CASPIAN GULLS fell away to only 20 or so this week, with three first-winters at Pitsea (Essex) on 14th, two more first-winters at Sandbach Flashes (Cheshire) on the same date, while three birds in Suffolk were also of particular note.
ICELAND GULLS reached nearly 90 birds (from at least 53 counties) in Britain this week, while Ireland scored at least 55 birds from just nine counties, helped by the big scores of 20 at Killybegs (Co. Donegal) on 15th and 12 at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway) on 14th. Both sites (perhaps unsurprisingly) also held KUMLIEN'S GULLS this week: an adult at the former site on 15th and an adult and second-winter at the latter site on 14th.
Also in County Galway on 14th, a third-winter was again at Clifden. Juvenile Kumlien's Gulls remained on St. Mary's (Scilly), at Forfar Loch and Kirriemuir (Angus) and at Stornoway, Lewis (Outer Hebrides). GLAUCOUS GULLS too managed comfortably to keep numbers in three figures this week with a split of almost 80 birds in Britain and just over 50 in Ireland. On the Gualan spit, South Uist (Outer Hebrides), at least 12 birds remained to 13th, while on Tiree (Argyll), perhaps as many as 13 birds were noted around the island during the week (with two dead birds as well). Killybegs' haul was 13 on 15th, while on the Mullet (Co. Mayo) 15 birds were seen on 14th.
RING-BILLED GULLS this week included regular adults in Hampshire, London, Essex and Angus, the second-winter in Glamorgan and the first-winter in Cornwall, at Helston. An adult was seen again in Cheshire, at Richmond Bank on 14th and Moore NR on 16th, and an adult was at Lamby Lake on 14th (the third bird at the site this winter). Another Welsh adult was at Llys-y-fran Reservoir (Pembrokeshire) on 17th-18th. In Ireland, at least 13 birds were seen this week, including four adults at Nimmo's Pier on 14th and three at Cuskinny Marsh (Co. Cork) on 12th.
CLEVELAND -- What happens when a baseball strikes a seagull on the field? The ball is in play and, as it happened on Thursday night, the Cleveland Indians score the winning run to post a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
This one for the book came in the 10th inning at Progressive Field with the Indians trying to break a tie with the Royals. Mark DeRosa singled and Victor Martinez walked against reliever Kyle Farnsworth.
Shin-Soo Choo singled sharply up the middle straight toward a flock of seagulls who were lounging in center field. The gulls, apparently in pursuit of bugs, had been swarming over the field during the entire series.
Choo's line drive kicked in the outfield grass, struck a bird, then skipped away and rolled all the way to the wall, as DeRosa scored the winning run from second base.
Center fielder Coco Crisp raised his arms in frustration, but there was no arguing the play. Umpire crew chief Mike Reilly confirmed that any ball striking one of the birds in fair territory is in play.
"They're in play -- whatever it does off that bird," Reilly said.
Crisp initially said he thought the ball hit a bird but wasn't sure. He was assured that it did, sending a feather flying. The bird, after the initial shock, was able to fly away.
"So it did hit a bird. Crazy things happen in this game," Crisp said. "That's why it's a great game."
Had Crisp been able to field the ball, would he have had a play at plate?
"I had a chance. You never know what the heck's going to happen. You catch the ball, make the throw, good or bad one, and sometimes you get 'em and most of the time you don't, especially from center field," Crisp said.
"But it was hit so sharply I felt like I had a chance."
Reilly, who was umpiring first base, thought that perhaps Crisp had a shot.
"Believe me, we talked about it when we came in. There probably would have been a play at the plate had not there been interference by the bird," Reilly said. "There's nothing we can do with those things."
Choo was happy that Crisp didn't have a chance to deprive him of the game-ending hit.
"I saw in the video that I hit the bird," Choo said. "The bird helped. I'll take it."
Indians manager Eric Wedge didn't think the ball hitting the bird had any impact on the outcome.
"I think DeRo was in pretty good shape there [to score], anyway," he said.
Tribe players and coaches were having a pretty good laugh about the bird after the game. But first baseman Ryan Garko said the joke is getting old. The seagulls have become season-ticket holders at Progressive Field the past two homestands -- flying overhead and resting in the outfield grass during play -- and Garko, for one, is tired of playing under and around them.
"Something needs to be done," Garko said. "There's got to be a way to get rid of them. It's kind of embarrassing. We look like a bunch of kids playing on an abandoned field. It's kind of funny but kind of not funny."
Garko said the birds hovering over the outfield grass can be distracting to a batter.
"You've got white things moving in the background," he said. "It looks like a baseball."
Sooner or later, it stood to reason that one of the birds would get struck, and it finally happened -- in a crucial situation, no less.
The bird struck by Choo's hit wobbled around for a while before finally gathering itself and taking flight again. It left behind a feather that was still sitting in the outfield grass after the victorious Indians cleared the field.
Reilly, speaking for the umpires, explained that a ball hitting a bird is in play wherever it falls.
"If it hits the bird and then comes down foul, it'd be a foul ball. If it hits the bird and stays fair, it'd be a fair ball -- catch off a bird or whatever," he said.
Would the umpires ever have a situation where they'd have to chase the gulls off the field?
"I never have but, boy, if you chased 'em once, you'd be chasing them all night," Reilly said. "If you had a squirrel or a cat, you could get 'em out of there. I've been on the field for all that stuff, but I've never chased seagulls out of there. That's a classic."
Of course, the story brought up memories of when Dave Winfield threw a ball that killed a seagull in Toronto. It happened on Aug. 4, 1983, when Winfield was with the Yankees. He was warming up in the fifth inning when his throw accidentally hit and killed a gull. This time, the gull escaped.
"I don't even remember the birds being here at all when I was here," Crisp said. "There were bugs. I guess that's what brought the birds -- the whole nature thing. I'd rather actually have the birds rather that the bugs, as long as they don't get in the way."
This time, though, one gull did.
See the Video here
Killer whales which set traps to catch seagulls have become the third known animal species to possess "cultural learning" - a skill which is transmitted to other members of their group.
The gull-trapping trick was initiated by a four-year-old orca in a tank at Marineland at Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada, according to a report in next Saturday's issue of New Scientist.
The mammal discovered he could lure seagulls into his tank by spitting regurgitated fish onto the water's surface.
It then lurked below the surface, waiting for a gull to grab the fish, and then seized the bird in its open jaws.
After a few months of feathered snacks, the killer whale started to be joined by his younger half-brother, and soon thereafter they were joined by their mothers, a six-month-old calf and an older male.
The clever whales are able to catch three or four gulls on some days.
In June, researchers showed that wild dolphins off Australia taught each other to use sponges to protect their snouts while grubbing for food on the sea floor.
And earlier this month, US scientists reported on two groups of chimpanzees whose members adopted rival methods to use a stick to coax food out of a feeder.
The latest discovery was made by animal behaviourist Michael Noonan of Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, who presented his findings at a conference earlier this month, the British weekly says.
Gull Sets Arctic Pollution Record for Birds
Eggs of the ivory gull, which has a population of about 14,000 from Siberia to Canada, were found to have the highest known concentrations of PCBs, long used in products such as paints or plastics, and the pesticide DDT.
"Environmental poisons are threatening ivory gulls," the Norwegian Polar Institute said in a statement of eggs collected off northern Norway and Russia. "Levels of PCB and DDT are higher in ivory gulls than in other Arctic seabirds."
The long-lasting chemicals, swept north by prevailing winds and currents from industrial centres, often end in the Arctic where they build up in fatty tissues of animals, fish and birds.
A 2001 UN convention outlawed most uses of 12 so-called persistent organic pollutants after the chemicals were found in the breast milk of Inuit women and in polar bears. Levels of many of the "dirty dozen" in the Arctic have been falling.
"Ivory gulls are top predators, that's a main reason why they have high levels of contaminants," said Hallvard Stroem, of the Polar Institute. The gulls eat cod and other fatty fish and also scavenge dead seals or polar bears for a fat-charged diet.
"We're not sure why the levels are higher than for other birds," he told Reuters, adding there were no known local sources of the pollutants to explain the high concentrations.
PCBs, at up to 0.02 percent of the egg weight, were comparable with those found in some polar bears 20 years ago.
Previous studies show that the chemical pollutants can have effects on birds such as shortening lifespans or thinning of eggshells. Ivory gulls can live about 10 to 20 years.
The shrinking of Arctic sea ice in recent years, apparently because of global warming, also threatens the birds by reducing the size of their habitat. The gulls feed most around the fringes of the ice, where fish and plankton thrive.
"Climate change is an added stress -- the ivory gull is dependent on the sea ice," Stroem said.
The survey was carried out after reports that numbers of ivory gulls had plunged by 80 percent in Canada. Stroem said population trends elsewhere were not clear.
Jan 4 2009 by Coreena Ford, Sunday Sun
BIRDSPOTTERS from across the UK have been sent into a flap by the arrival of an extremely rare seagull in the North.
Hundreds of twitchers have descended on Cowpen Bewley, Teesside, where a glaucous winged gull has been spotted flying around near a nature reserve.
Trying to spot the bird has proved tricky, however, as it looks almost identical to the hundreds of other seagulls which live there! The large gull may be common in America, but its presence in the region caused a massive stir among twitchers all over the country, many of whom have driven hundreds of miles for what is known in the bird world as a “mega sighting”.
News of its presence has been circulating on birdwatchers’ websites and forums, but no one is quite sure when the gull first arrived here.
It was first spotted on New Year’s Eve but some enthusiasts believe it could have been there before that.
Ron McCombe, of Coldstream in The Borders, spent most of Friday trying to spot the rare bird.
Photographer Ron, 54, said: “I think there is another one in the country at the moment, somewhere down south, and it’s very very rare . . . it’s what’s known as ‘a mega’.
“I got a text through from the Rare Bird Alert website and headed down. It’s a two-hour journey here and, once I arrived, there were already lots of others there.
“Some had travelled all the way from Hampshire just to see the gull.
“It does look just like all the other seagulls, but there are subtle differences. It’s very pale and has a grey mantle — the top of its head — and there are small markings on the wing tips to look out for too.”
Armed with cameras and binoculars, twitchers have been around the Cowpen Bewley area on a daily basis trying to spot the American visitor among the huge flock of seagulls.
Snapper Ron — who has been a birdwatcher for 30 years — said: “It’s been absolutely crazy.
“Someone’s phone rang, he hung up and shouted ‘it’s on the other side of the roundabout’.
“Then it was like a scene from Le Mans, with everyone bumping into each other as they grabbed their gear, jumped into their cars and headed to the spot where the bird was seen.
“There must be around 150 cars parked on the side of the road, and everyone was trying to do a u-turn to get to the right place.
“But then this bird is so very rare . . . it’s travelled thousands of miles on jet streams to get here.”
LAGUNA BEACH – A rare Heermann's gull that attacked a Kansas couple and tried to steal their ice cream at Main Beach was euthanized after being beaten with a stick, police said today.
Dragan Djuric, 50, of Wichita, Kan., was cited and released on suspicion of animal cruelty in connection with the New Year's Eve incident, said Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jeff Calvert.
Djuric was eating ice cream with his wife about 2:53 p.m. when several birds attacked, Calvert said. One bird hit Djuric's wife in the head and tried to grab the ice cream, Calvert said.
The couple dropped their ice cream on the boardwalk, and Djuric, who had been defecated on, began waving a stick and hitting the birds, Calvert said.
The Heermann's gull, which had a broken wing, was taken to the Wetland and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach, where it was euthanized. It was unclear what day the gull was euthanized.
A second bird believed to be attacked made its way back to the ocean, Calvert said.
Heermann's gulls, an unusually aggressive species of Pacific Coast gull, are on the Audubon Society's watch list for endangered or threatened birds, according to the society's Web site.
"Heermann's gull is a unique bird of the Pacific Coast,'' the site says. "Almost the entire global population of this species breeds on one island group off the coast of western Mexico; following breeding season, these gulls disperse northward along the coast as far as southern British Columbia.
"Surprisingly aggressive for birds their size, Heermann's gulls steal fish from the pouches of brown pelicans and actively chase other birds to dislodge prey items."
The latest (fourth) report of the Taxonomic Sub-committee of the BOU Records Committee has finally recognised American Herring Gull and Caspian Gull at the species level.
The report states:
"We recommend recognition of the following species to better reflect recent advances in knowledge of the evolution and systematics of large gulls:
• Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans (monotypic)
• Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus (polytypic, including fuscus, intermedius, graellsii, heuglini, taimyrensis, barabensis)
• American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus (polytypic, including smithsonianus, vegae, mongolicus)
• Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis (polytypic, including michahellis, atlantis)
• Armenian Gull Larus armenicus (monotypic)
• Herring Gull Larus argentatus (polytypic, including argentatus, argenteus)"
1stw Caspian Gull
The recommendation that Yellow-legged Gull L. michahellis and Armenian Gull L. armenicus should be treated as separate species from Herring Gull L. argentatus was communicated previously (Sangster et al. 2005. Ibis 147: 821–826). Phylogenetic evidence based on analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences indicates that the large white-headed gull complex consists of two main clades: (1) an 'Atlantic' clade consisting of Yellow-legged Gull, Armenian Gull, most individuals of Herring Gull, and including Great Black-backed Gull L. marinus and Palearctic individuals of Glaucous Gull L. hyperboreus; (2) an 'Aralo-Caspian' clade consisting of L. a. cachinnans, L. a. barabensis, L. a. heuglini, L. a. taimyrensis, Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus, Kelp Gull L. dominicanus, some individuals of L. a. argentatus, and including an 'Arctic/Pacific' grouping of L. a. vegae, L. a. smithsonianus, L. a. mongolicus, Slaty-backed Gull L. schistisagus, Iceland Gull L. glaucoides, Glaucous-winged Gull L. glaucescens and Nearctic individuals of Glaucous Gull (Crochet et al. 2002. Auk 119: 603–620; Crochet et al. 2003. Evolution 57: 2865–2878; Liebers et al. 2004. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 271: 893–901). Western Gull L. occidentalis is not included in these clades and forms an outgroup. Genetic structure between the taxa is generally well-defined, except within the Arctic/Pacific grouping of the Aralo-Caspian clade, for which the taxa are poorly separated with some shared haplotypes (Gay et al. 2005. Auk 122: 684–688).
Morphological and genetic variation in Lesser Black-backed Gulls L. fuscus fuscus, L. f. intermedius and L. f. graellsii is clinal (Liebers & Helbig 2002. J. Evol. Biol. 15: 1021–1033). These taxa are closely related to the West Siberian taxa L. a. heuglini, L. a. taimyrensis and L. a. barabensis with evidence of continuing low levels of gene flow in spite of apparent ecological separation of L. f. fuscus and L. a. heuglini in parapatry (Filchagov et al. 1992a. Zool. Zh. 71: 148–152; Rauste 1999. Limicola 13: 105–128; 153–188; Liebers & Helbig 2002; Liebers et al. 2004). It is recommended that these taxa be treated as a single species L. fuscus. Variation in heuglini is slight (Buzun 2002. Br. Birds 95: 216–232) and the validity of taimyrensis has been questioned (Filchagov et al. 1992b. L'Oiseau 62: 128–148; Yésou 2002. Dutch Birding 64: 271–298).
Caspian Gull L. a. cachinnans is diagnosably distinct from all other taxa on the basis of plumage and vocalisations (Panov et al. 1991a. Zool. Zh. 70/1: 76–90; Panov et al. 1991b. Zool. Zh. 70/3: 73–89; Garner & Quinn 1997. Br. Birds 90: 25–62; Klein & Gruber 1997. Limicola 11: 49-75; Liebers & Dierschke 1997. Dutch Birding 19: 277–280; Jonsson 1998. Alula 3: 74–100; Yésou 2002). It forms a discrete genetic grouping and is probably most closely related to the West Siberian gulls heuglini and barabensis. However, introgression between cachinnans and the West Siberian taxa is restricted and probably unidirectional (Panov & Monzikov 2000. Br. Birds 93: 227–241; Liebers et al. 2004). Recent range expansion has led to widespread hybridization with argentatus Herring Gulls in Central and Eastern Europe which may partly underlie the apparently large intrataxon variation in cachinnans (Klein & Gruber 1997. Limicola 11: 49–75; Liebers & Dierschke 1997; Panov & Monzikov 1999. Russ. J. Zool. 3: 129–141). However the hybrid zone is reported to be narrow in relation to the potential dispersal distance of the parental taxa (Neubauer et al. 2006. Vogelwelt 127: 11–22; Yakovets 2006. Vogelwelt 127: 23–30). Based on this evidence, it is recommended that Caspian Gull be treated as a monotypic species L. cachinnans.
Genetic evidence suggests that East Siberian and American Herring Gulls, L. a. vegae, L. a. mongolicus and L. a. smithsonianus fall within the Arctic/Pacific species group of the Aralo-Caspian clade (Liebers et al. 2004; de Knijff et al. 2005. Birding 37: 402–411; Gay et al. 2005). There are sharp genetic and morphological boundaries between vegae and the parapatric or partially sympatric West Siberian taxon heuglini (Yésou 1994. Alauda 62: 247-252; Liebers et al. 2004; Yésou 2002). Many individuals of vegae, mongolicus and smithsonianus can be identified to subspecies (Lonergan & Mullarney 2004. Dutch Birding 26: 1–35), but diagnosability with respect to each other has not been demonstrated. Although many individuals can be identified, smithsonianus is not fully diagnosable from European Herring Gulls on the basis of plumage alone (Lonergan & Mullarney 2004; Adriaens & Mactavish 2004. Dutch Birding 26: 151–179) but is clearly differentiated on the basis of mtDNA (Crochet et al. 2002, 2003, Liebers et al. 2004, Gay et al. 2005). In addition, European Herring Gulls are reported to respond poorly to calls of smithsonianus (Frings et al. 1958. Ecology 39: 126–131). Based on current evidence, American Herring Gull L. smithsonianus is best treated as a separate species. Given their lack of diagnostic differences, vegae and mongolicus are considered conspecific with L. smithsonianus.
We recommend recognition of the following species to better reflect recent advances in knowledge of the evolution and systematics of large gulls:
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans (monotypic)
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus (polytypic, including fuscus, intermedius, graellsii, heuglini, taimyrensis, barabensis)
American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus (polytypic, including smithsonianus, vegae, mongolicus)
Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis (polytypic, including michahellis, atlantis)
Armenian Gull Larus armenicus (monotypic)
Herring Gull Larus argentatus (polytypic, including argentatus, argenteus)
A manuscript explaining these decisions has been submitted to British Birds.
Two research programmes, one based on morphology (Chu 1998. Cladistics 14: 1–43) and another based primarily on mitochondrial DNA sequences (Crochet et al. 2000. J. Evol. Biol. 13: 47–57; Pons et al. 2005. Mol. Phylogen. Evol. 37: 686–699) have examined phylogenetic relationships of the entire group of gulls. Both studies indicate that the genus Larus, as currently defined [e.g. Voous 1977. List of Recent Holarctic Bird Species. Br. Ornithol. Union, London; Cramp & Simmons 1983. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Vol. 3. Oxford UP, Oxford; Burger & Gochfield 1996. Gulls. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliot, A. & Sargatal, J. (eds.) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 3. Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona], is not monophyletic. These studies indicate that the generic limits of the gulls need revision.
Both studies indicated a separate position of Creagrus, Rissa, Xema, Pagophila from all other gulls, supporting the continued recognition of these genera, but also supported another well-defined clade (which includes Slender-billed Gull Larus genei, Bonaparte's Gull L. philadelphia and Black-headed Gull L. ridibundus) which is not the sister group to other gulls in Larus as currently defined. Both studies also resolved a sister-group relationship of Ross's Gull and Little Gull and their separate position from the main clade of gulls.
A taxonomic revision that would maintain monophyly of gull genera with minimum change to the British List would be to include all gulls in Larus, except those currently placed in Creagrus, Rissa, Xema and Pagophila. This arrangement however does not reflect the taxonomic information derived from the cited studies. Pons et al. (2005) in contrast suggested recognition of ten genera, requiring adoption of five new generic names: Chroicocephalus (which includes Slender-billed Gull, Bonaparte's Gull and Black-headed Gull); Saundersilarus (Saunder's Gull); Hydrocoloeus (Ross's and Little Gull); Leucophaeus (some of the New World 'hooded' gulls); Ichthyaetus (southern Palaearctic 'black-headed gulls'). Four of these putative genera have been recorded in Britain. Retention of separate genera for Little and Ross's Gull would be justifiable on the basis of the long branch lengths separating the two, which are comparable with those separating Xema and Pagophila.
For the purposes of the British List, the TSC recommends recognition of an intermediate taxonomy that adopts Chroicocephalus for the clade which includes Slender-billed Gull, Bonaparte's Gull and Black-headed Gull and adopts Hydrocoloeus for Little Gull, but does not change the generic status of other gull species, as follows:
Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea
Sabine's Gull Xema sabini
Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei
Bonaparte's Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus
Ross's Gull Rhodostethia rosea
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
Franklin's Gull Larus pipixcan
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii
Pallas's Gull Larus ichthyaetus
Mew Gull Larus canus
Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Herring Gull Larus argentatus
Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus
Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
The Chroicocephalus gull clade is strongly supported by congruency between Pons et al. (2005) and the results of Chu (1998). The groups designated as 'hooded' and 'black-headed' gulls by Pons et al. (2005) and which may merit generic status were not found by Chu (1998), so further division within Larus s.s. is not recommended at this stage.