Skaw produced my first Whimbrel of the year, a pair of Pied Wagtails, a few lingering Redwings and a couple of Chiffchaffs in one of the geos. A look out to sea from Lamba Ness produced my first 3 Arctic Skuas of the year that eventually virtually overflew me calling. Norwick was quiet with just a Goldcrest and a Brambling. On hearing of the Hermit Thrush on Noss I headed out to check some trees. No Catharus but an intriguing Gull in a field next to the Setters Hill pines, that I assumed was a hybrid Herring x Lesser Black-backed Gull.
Whimbrel at Skaw
Arctic Skuas at Lamba Ness
Presumed Herring x Lesser Black-backed Gull hybrid at Baltasound
Click on some of the above images to enlarge. For images of a similar presumed hybrid see here. Some of the darker-mantled hybrids are apparently indistinguishable from Heuglin's Gulls. It appears to be a 4CY individual and published characters for Heuglin's including often showing just a single white mirror to p10, the black on the outer three primaries reaching the primary coverts, black subterminal band to the bill, some blackish tail markings, some outer secondaries showing limited dark centres, some vermiculations to the lower tertials and insipid leg colour could all equally apply to today's individual. There are images of an April 4CY Heuglin's Gull here.