Friday 22 March 2013


On March 18, 2013 for the second time in Extremadura, a Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) was seen in the rice fields of Santa Amalia (Badajoz) by José Guerra, Marc Galvez (pictured) and Fernando Yuste. The purpose of the field trip was to find 24 flamingos that appeared in the area the day before, and also to see waders. Among the many gulls present, which is unusual at this time, a gull was photographed and looking at the photos more closely it proved to be a Ring-billed Gull in second winter plumage. To verify, identification experts were consulted (Albert Cama and Daniel Lopez Velasco) who then confirmed the species. Read more on the personal blog of Jose and Marc.

Therefore, it is the second record for Extremadura, after one seen on the River Guadiana it passes through Badajoz, in the winter of 2008-2009. The first case was a first winter bird viewed from the Old Bridge in Badajoz between late 2008 and January 31, 2009 (Joaquin Mazon -bottom photo-, Jose Manuel Caballero, Salvador Solis and Juan Carlos Paniagua).

Ringed-bll Gull is a bird of North American origin. This is the Nearctic gull observed in greatest numbers in Western Europe. Although in Spain it is known of the 1950 ringings in the Great Lakes region, the species was not seen in Europe until the 1970s. Thereafter it began to be increasingly frequent in the next three decades, the cumulative number of birds seen in the UK, France, Portugal and Spain approached two thousand. Therefore, this gull was removed from the lists of rarities from the above countries. The distribution and Iberian phenology is typical of Nearctic gulls, with a high presence in the Northwest coast during winter, although there are records every month of the year and some remain even in summer. The regions accumulating more recordings are Asturias and Galicia, also being present, although in small numbers, in the Mediterranean coast of western Andalusia. To our knowledge, the first date in the interior of Spain is the one referred to in Badajoz in 2008. Then there are records in the dump of Alcázar de San Juan (Ciudad Real): first winter birds in February-March 2009 and February-April 2010 (Gabriel Martin), and in Madrid: at least five recordings in the landfills of Pinto and Colmenar Viejo, first and second winter and an adult, on 05/02/2010, 25/11/2012, 02/12/2012, 06/12/2012 and 02/08/2013 (Madrid Gull Team), and a first winter from 14/12/2011 to 26/02/2012 in the river Manzanares in Madrid (M. Fernandez Lamadrid). It is interesting to note the observation of an apparent hybrid gull (Larus fuscus x. L. delawarensis) for five winters, moving progressively from first winter plumage to adult plumage in Pinto landfill, 30/11/2008, and at Colmenar Viejo, on 15/11/2009, 28/11/2010 and 12/10/2012 (Delfin Gonzalez and Juan M. Ruiz