Iceland Gull is a rare visitor to East Glamorgan, and resides on our list of description species. Gulls may be aged using combinations of plumage, bill markings, eye and leg colour, so with some diligent field notes and digital images, we have evidence of a number of different individuals present this winter. To date, birds have been seen at Cosmeston, Dowlais, Kenfig NNR, Ogmore, Pen-y-Bryn, Ponsticill Reservoir, Sker and over the border at Aberavon and Gower.
Iceland Gulls, by Jeff Slocombe
These local visitors are part of a national influx demonstrated on BirdTrack. This has been typified by exceptional numbers on the Outer Hebrides, with up to 67 counted at one location on Lewis over the weekend! The influx is reflected in both the reporting rate and map for BirdTrack records in 2012.
The map makes for an interesting comparison with the map for 2011, clearly showing that there has already been a wider geographic spread of records this year than for the whole of 2011. Particularly noticeable are the higher number of records from the coasts of Ireland, Wales and western Scotland.