Grenlands Fugle. Part II. By Finn Saiomensen. Illustrated by GitzJohansen. (Munksgaard, Copenhagen, 1951. 66s.). The second part of this important work deals with the Ptarmigan, the waders, skuas and galls and the Arctic Tern; as its prohibitive cost and unwieldy size must render it inaccessible to many, the main points of interest to British observers will be indicated here. Dr. Salomonsen describes the "lemon-yellow" orbital ring of summer-adult Glaucous Gulls and the "reddish-violet" or "reddish-brown" orbital ring of summer-adult Icelands as the best identification mark, adding "The Iceland Gull is more finely built than the Glaucous Gull, and has a more slender body with comparatively longer and narrower wings, a thinner and shorter bill and smaller head. In flight the Iceland Gull looks more graceful and has more rapid wing-beats (on the average 160 per minute, as against 130 in the Glaucous Gull, according to my timing). On the ground the long wings give the body of the Iceland Gull a tapering shape, and this together with the smaller rounded head gives it an almost dove-like appearance, while the Glaucous Gull is robust in stature like the Great Black-back." Nevertheless this exceptionally experienced authority on the two species finds "identification in the field extremely difficult" and says that "identification in flight is sometimes barely possible." If this is true of summer adults in highly favourable conditions, as the present reviewer can confirm, it underlines the need for extreme caution in sight identifications in winter in Britain. Dr. Salomonsen, however, refers
Volume: 
Issue 2

Stay at the forefront of British birding by taking out a subscription to British Birds.

Subscribe Now