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Rare Birds in Spain


American Gulls in Spain in January 2006

Photos by Amadeo A.Pombo, Antonio Sandoval, Ricardo Rodríguez, Gorka Ocio, J.María Salazar, Ángel García & Alfonso Rodrigo.

Text by Ricard Gutiérrez


In January 2006 seven Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla and most notably two Franklin's Gulls Larus pipixcan were recorded in Spain, most of the records in the N coast of Galicia and Euskadi but one Franklin's in Catalonia and two Laughings at Málaga, in the Mediterranean. Probably following the influx reported in the UK the 2005 autumn, there were 11 reports of atricilla in December 2005 in Spain, but the Franklin's records are rarer and more unexpected: up to 2003, there were 18 accepted records in mainland Spain and Balearics for the Laughing Gull and seven for the Franklin's. There were 3 more for atricilla and one pipixcan in the Canary Islands as well.

These arrivals have granted a great deal of comparison possibilities with the local species and the opportunity of acquiring experience with them. Some of the photos presented here are included for reference purposes and complement those appeared in the December 2005 and January 2006 pages.

Photos by © their respective authors
Laughing Gull

The 1w Laughing Gull at Ria do Burgo on 29.1 (Amadeo A. Pombo)

The adult Laughing Gull with a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus at Ria do Burgo, A Coruña on 24.1 (Antonio Sandoval). Compare the structure and wing projection with the Franklin's below and Mediterranean Gull nearny.

The adult Laughing Gull in flight. Ria do Burgo, A Coruña, 24.1.2006 (Antonio Sandoval). Note the long-winged shape.

Franklin's Gull

The Santurtzi 1w Franklin's Gull in flight. Note the shape and proportions of wings. Also the pattern of coverts and tail band (Ricardo Rodríguez)

Compared with the Laughing, this 1w Franklin's Gull has a more 'compact' shape (Ricardo Rodríguez)

The Santurtzi 1w Franklin's Gull (foreground), semi-covered with snow and a Black-headed Gull L.ridibundus somewhat a bit wet in the background. The shapes of both are not that different (Gorka Ocio)

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Gorka Ocio and the Franklin's (A.Rodrigo); Laughing Gull at Málaga (A.García), the Franklin's at Santurtzi (J.M.Salazar)

American Gulls in Spain in January 2006

Laughing Gull
Franklin's Gull


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