I'm currently very interested in crows and the relationship between Carrion and Hoodie here on Orkney. Tipped off that there are some interesting hybrids at Scapa, and the weather being fine, I headed off there this morning. I spent a couple of hours photographing interesting beasts, of which the below is one.
It would be easy to pass this bird off as a pure Hooded Crow, but look at the undertail coverts. Hoodie should not have those black feathers. Also a careful look at the back and mantle shows thin black centres to many feathers. I need to check this feature out a bit but I don't think pure Hoodie should have black centres to the mantle and back feathers. Actually they do and this is an ok feature for Hoodie, the centres should be of a very fine dark streak (I could do with a corpse really to look at this properly).
I had some jobs to do in Kirkwall, and then as I was leaving noticed a large number of gulls on the PDC. There were a couple of interesting ones. I think this, left hand bird below, looks very interesting. A candidate for American Herring Gull maybe. (That would be a species I've not seen). Looking at the papers this bird certainly has some characters. It didn't fly unfortunately and I was short of time, surely worth another look though.