Black days, white birds

Raven, Shetland
Raven, Shetland

As readers will know, winter days in Shetland are short. Compared with the ‘sooth’, the days don’t seem too much shorter but the light can be duller except in full sunshine.

As if to compensate, many of the birds present in winter are white – even the Black Guillemots are white! Of more topical interest are the Glaucous Gulls, which are beginning to arrive in numbers. I spent this morning around Lerwick (where the gulls weren’t easily viewable today) and Gremista. The highlights were a second-winter Glaucous Gull and adult Glaucous x Herring hybrid, both at Gremista. The hybrid was a remarkable bird which had the left wing of a Glaucous and right wing of a Herring. I have never seen this phenomenon previously in birds – it was presumably the same as the one recorded last July by Brydon Thomason: https://twitter.com/shetlandnature/status/804277565217087488

Another Glaucous (first-winter) was at Spiggie as I headed back to Toab.

Glaucous Gull (and Fitful Head), Shetland
Glaucous Gull (and Fitful Head), Shetland
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