Jackpot! In a remarkable re-run of last April, I drove up the A15 early morning on 23rd July and was astounded to see thousands of gulls in the very same field at Elsham, along with the familiar white tanker and green tractor. And finally there was a break in the sunshine and heat-haze, and my disappointment at seeing the Bonby field ploughed in front of my eyes disappeared. I got into position, and amongst the hordes, and the liberal sprinkle of michs (including a couple of smart juvs), a set of fresh black primaries protruding from a 2cy gull caught my eye. It looked up to show a gleaming white head and body, a buff-frosted mantle, fresh-looking tertials, and a worn wing with a few plain, blacker coverts mixed in. The greater coverts were all still one generation, and a flush of the flock caused it to show me a new tail, new secondaries, and complete 2nd-generation primaries with P1-2 missing to make way for 3rd-generation feathers - Baltic Gull!
The usual doubts, emails and internet research followed, and it became apparent I had to be 100% certain the primaries were all new. Day two, misty and murky, but it appeared, closer this time, and every feather tip was visible, all black and rounded and new. Job done. And with a supporting cast of 3cy Caspian Gull, 14 michs and a handful of Meds including a slinky juv.
Best field ever.