Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Worlds Largest Gull Visits Wanstead

The long Easter bank holiday didn't quite live up to expectation on the patch, due in part to the weather being clear, sunny and warm - great for topping up my suntan but not so great for grounding passage migrants to an urban London site. On the two visits I did managed to squeeze in, I added Yellow Wagtail, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler and Great Black-backed Gull to the Year List.

While the focus was always on returning passage migrants, the two Great Black-backed Gulls (a 4th and 2nd calendar year birds) on Alexandra Lake were a bit of a highlight - it's only taken me four months to add one to the patch year list! Great Black-backed Gulls are usually only recorded as winter flyovers at Wanstead as they commute between the River Thames and the chain of Lee Valley reservoirs, so to get a couple of these big chunky gulls in spring on the deck and in different plumage's was a nice distraction from looking at the current crop of non-breeding mix of Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls which are now set to spend their summer on the Flats.

GBB Gull, Adult, Summer
4CY Great Black-backed Gull
GBB Gull, 2CY, 2nd Calendar Year, Gulls
2CY Great Black-backed Gull


  1. The top image is clearly not adult yet with that bill colour + still lots of brown feathers in the wing.

  2. Thanks for the nudge Conehead, I've updated to now read 4CY