Ten days ago, I posted Iceland Gull and showed two pictures. The first shot was, indeed, an Iceland Gull (in its first winter). I misidentified the second picture: It was actually a California Gull.
It is notoriously difficult to distinguish between some species of gulls, and so I identified that gull, in part, by its unusual behaviour: The gull would plunge into the water, emerge with a fish in the bill, and swallow it on the wing.
It now emerges that the California also does this, and migrates through here at this time of year in large numbers. I greatly appreciate the help of Melissa Hafting, who noted that my fish-carrying gull was actually a California as revealed by subtle differences from the Iceland: The number of flight feathers tipped with black; The colour of the legs.
However, the previous blog’s opening remark remains correct: “Sometimes it takes a decade to solve a mystery.” It is just that the found solution should bear the word, California, rather than, Iceland.
A California Gull dives to the water as it chases a fish.
This decade-old picture is now revealed to be a California Gull.