Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides

Calvert Lake - 8th March 2008

Photos copyright Tim Watts

A clean cut adult Iceland Gull photographed late morning, this being unusual as most gulls do not arrive here until late afternoon.

Calvert Lake - 24th January 2008

Photo copyright Tim Watts

This first winter Iceland gull can be picked out from the Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls by the lack of any blackish feathers in the tips of the primary feathers.  However at a distance and in the middle of a flock of thousands of Gulls this can be very difficult.  Calvert Lake is one of the more reliable sites to find this species during the winter months.

Fulmer Lake - 19th-21st April 2005

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Photo copyright Dave Ferguson

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Photo copyright Mike Collard

The above photos were taken on 19th and 20th April, with the bird also being present on 21st.  After much discussion this individual has been aged as a second summer.  In flight the bird showed a buff coloured tail. 

It appears to visit Fulmer Lake for a wash and a rest, after visiting the rubbish tip at nearby Hedgerley.  As can be seen from the photos below, Hedgerley tip is a regular site for Iceland Gulls in Buckinghamshire.

Hedgerley - 12th January 2002

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Photo copyright Rob Andrews

This adult (centre bird) was found by Rob in the usual roost field to the south of the M40.  It was present in the field for an  hour or two during the middle of the day.  Much of the time it was asleep but it did occasionally preen and walk around.  It was present with 2-3000 gulls with an estimated 6000+ in the overall tip area! 

Hedgerley - 28th January 2001

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Video still copyright Dave Ferguson

This individual was found early afternoon in the field just to the south of the M40 where many gulls rest.   After this bird flew off another adult was seen but not videoed. 

Hedgerley - March 7th 1999

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Photo copyright Dave Ferguson

After the first record in 1969 and the second in 1981, Iceland Gulls have become a regular albeit scarce winter visitor to Buckinghamshire.  This bird was one two seen together at Hedgerley, with at least three birds being present in early March.  The birds may well have been overlooked at the site as the birders were looking for a Glaucous Gull which had been seen the previous week!  It is the first multiple occurrence of the species in the county.