Sunday, 12 July 2015

1st portuguese record of Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis

The 1st portuguese record of Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis was made at Ponta da erva, Lisboa 08.07.2015 by Pedro Fernandes and Samantha Zaza, and 4 days after at the same location 2cy Steppe Eagle was relocated again at the same area, by a large group of observers.

Photos from today (12/07/2015)

 2cy Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis showing tthe wide pale underwing lesser coverts

Here sowing upperwing pattern with wide white rump and pale crescents on primaries, second photo showing glide posture with wings held dowwards (black vulture fashion).

A great video from Frederico Morais (08/07/2015)

In Europe only found in Russia north and north-west of the Caspian Sea. Formerly also nested in Moldova and Romania but it is long extinct in those countries. Also gone from the Ukraine since the 1980s [Mebs & Schmidt 2006]. Outside of Europe the species is found in the steppes of central Asia eastwards to Mongolia, eastern Kazakhstan, Tibet and northeastern China [GRIN 2009]. During winter in Africa and southwestern Asia."

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Kelp Gull / Cape Gull, Larus dominicanus at Costa da Caparica - Portugal

On April 27 the 4th Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus record for Portugal as been achieved thanks to Miguel Berkmeyer´s finding. The first 3 records established in the same year of 2013, and adult like birds were seen across all portuguese coast. This record is not any diferent and the dificulty of identification on juveniles and first plumage cycles maybe be having a role here, with birds seen between April to August, but all of them with adult like looks and consequently easier to spot by most keen gullers.
Aiming this potential problem I advise a good  reading Identification of first cycle Larus dominicanus vetula: The Cape Gull of good hope? by Chris Gibbins, focusing on moult timing and other plumages features that could help on the field. The first 2 portuguese records are also cited on Chris ID paper as being Cape Gull (vetula), and all the following records including the present one seem to be all from this Southern African subspecies in my humble opinion.

April 29th 2015 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus at praia do Inatel, Costa da Caparica, Portugal

 April 29th 2015 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus at praia do Inatel, Costa da Caparica, Portugal

Here with 2cy Yellow-legged Gull Larus michehellis and 2cy Lesser black-backed GullLarus fuscus, and showing in the field 2cycle type exterior tail feathers on otherwise all white tail, and small vestigial mirror on left wing P10 (here) (here)
Regarding P10 mirror theres seems to be a hudge variability and birds with no mirrors are also to consider, here you can find a good set of mostly adult June birds taken by Chris Gibbins at Cape province, South Africa.

April 29th 2015 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus at praia do Inatel, Costa da Caparica, Portugal

April 29th 2015 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus at praia do Inatel, Costa da Caparica, Portugal

Miguel Berkmeyer video footage on April 27th 2015 at Costa da Caparica, Portugal

GRO - Gull Research Organisation: Kelp Gull/ Cape Gul

1st record for Portugal - 6 june 2013
2nd (submited) record for Portugal: 21/22 May 2013
3rd record for Portugal: 16 August 2013
4th record for Portugal: 27 April 2015  (photo links):

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Another 2cy Herring Gull at Sesimbra

Another 1st winter (2cy) Herring Gull Larus argentatus was spotted today 06.01.2015 by me and Carlos Pacheco at Sesimbra harbour.

pale end of variation?.....

nice tail pattern......

together with local 2cy Yellow-legged Gull "lusitanius"

rather small proportions....

 during the busy hour......

Monday, 5 January 2015

2cy Herring gull at Sesimbra Docapesca

On  03.01.2015 this rather small and slender 2cy Herring gull Larus argentatus was present at Docapesca de Sesimbra.

I want to thank you to Frederico Morais, Pedro Nicolau and Marco Schwager for their company while we atempt to relocate the 2 caspians previously seen at the harbour.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

American herring Gull - Part II

Some snapshots taken from 720p video at 120x with the digiscoping method. There are a few strange dark marks and lines on the snaps but they are no more than debris and dust particules in the camera due to heavy field work..... this little girl have a few miles of it!

On the above and below photo, note the heavy structure with squarish and flat head, pencil shaped bill reminescent of Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans and colored like winter adult Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus. The winter head steaking is also restricted to the hindneck and mantle color, although hard to evaluate was paler than any ssp. argenteus I have ever seen, matching Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis and always distinct from the nearby Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis.

On the sequence below note the primary pattern with a few good indicators for American Herring Gull.

From left to right:
1. Visible "bayonet" on P7
2. Visible "bayonet" on P7 and "W" shaped dark band on P5 tip
3. Pattern on P10
4. Pattern on P10
5. Visible "bayonet" on P7, "W" shaped dark band on P5 tip and long pale tongue on P8
6. Pattern on P10
7. P9 pattern and long pale tongue on P8. Black fine line on P10 tip
8. Pattern on P10
9. Pattern on P10
10. Pale tongues on most primaries
11. Pattern on P10
12. Black fine line on P10 tip

Note how the angle of the pale P10 tongue ends in several snaps. It seems to be variable, but the steeply curve on it seems to be intensified by the pattern of the P9 behind.




On most aspects its seems to fit perfectly on American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus, and a few experts on the species agree with the identification...

Now let the 2 and 3cy come!!!!!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Herring Gull at Algés

At southern latitudes than "Brigid" storm, another front is hiting Portugal west coast.

"Stephanie" is at least as fierce, pushing all the gulls inland. At Algés, there were more than 1500 ind. of both Lesser black-backed Gull and Yellow-legged Gull, and thats good numbers!!!! Not seen since the former fishing harbour was turned into a marina.

....gulls trying to feed, hoovering over the sewer exit.....

Herring Gull Larus argentatus, adult.

Lesser black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, HNE ringed by Peter Stewart. Its a winter regular at Algés.

Lesser black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 6AC8, ringed by Paul Veron

Lesser black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, 4AX4 ringed by Paul Veron.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Atlantic Storm

The new North Atlantic storm "Brigid" will hit Europe west coast this weekend with  30ft waves and sustained 60mph winds to be expected at southwest tip of Ireland!!

One Ross Gull had already been found in the past hours in Spain NW coast (Pontevedra), what would be the next finding on the Iberian coast?????

Found by Pedro Lopes Moreira at Aveiro harbour today, this thayer/kumlien type gull worths a second check.
Thayers Gull Larus thayeri would be a 1st record for Portugal.