Saturday, 28 November 2009

Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens), 4cy, 27.11.2009, Aarhus Harbor, Denmark

This Glaucous-winged Gull was found and identified straight away by the great local birder Rune Sø Neergaard. It is the first Glaucous-winged Gull for Scandinavia and only the 5th record in Western Palearctic.

Note that most of my photos in this post are underexposed making the outer primary pattern in the flying bird appear darker than the bird originally was. For more well exposed photos of the same bird in the almost same minutes please have a look here, here, here and here.


RSN said...

Fed obs!

Og fed dokumentation og godt forudset, at den snart ville lette. Hvem snakker du i tlf med?

Mvh Rune

Kent Olsen said...

Ja, fed obs, du fik Århus på landkortet

Jeg snakker med Morten Bentzon og senere en længere tid med Sebastian Klein, det var ham jeg lagde på overfor...


Andy Paterson said...

Great find and i/d. Send it down here!
Andy Paterson,
Torremolinos, Spain

jake said...

Certainly not a PURE Glaucous-winged Gull. The primaries are looking too dark. Not one to count for a FIRST record.

Kent Olsen said...

It looks fine for a Glaucous-winged Gull, except that I would call it in it's 3rd cy in November (4cy next January). The extent of dark mottling on the head, dusky in the tail (best seen in the video), extent of blackish in the bill, and brownish wash to the inner primaries and some of the wing coverts indicate 3rd-cycle whereas most or all 4th-cycle birds are indistinguishable from adults. I'd also call it a male based on the apparent large bulk, wedge-shaped head, and large bill.

As you probably know Glaucous-winged Gull is quite variable in appearance, being paler in northern-breeding populations and darker in southern-breeding populations, and hybridizing with Glaucous Gull to the north and (extensively) with Western Gull to the south in North America (and probably also Slaty-backed Gull in Asia). This one seems about average, perhaps a bit darker than average, but I see no indication of substantial introgression with Western or other gulls.

Hope this helps,

Peter Pyle

Kent Olsen said...

I'm a member of the Washington Bird Records Committee and a "student of gulls" so thought I would give my opinion.

This bird looks like a very stereotypical Glaucous-winged Gull in the state of Washington, as far as structure and facial countenance go. The somewhat bulbous bill shape and gluttonous look to the head are good. The heavy mottling with horizontal "stitch-like" bars and cross-hatching on the breast is unique.

Some of the flight shots, particularly the more under-exposed ones, show slightly darker primaries than the purest-looking birds found here, suggesting way back in the bird's genetic history there might be some presence of a dark-primaried gull (either Western or Herring), but it is honestly not enough for me to call it anything but a Glaucous-winged Gull. Either way, this is a bird with origins likely in the heart of the Glaucous-winged Gull's range.

The bird is likely in its 4th or possibly 5th calendar year, given the mature plumage but still immature bill.

Charlie Wright

Kent Olsen said...

If I saw that bird here, it would blend right in with the other Glaucous-winged Gulls. I can’t see any marks on your bird that would indicate a different species.

I have quite a few Glaucous-winged Gull images posted on my web site


Michael G. Shepard
Victoria BC Canada
“Land of the Glaucous-winged Gull”

Kent Olsen said...

I agree with Michael. Were I to see this in British Columbia, I would not give it a second glance - bearing in mind, that on the Pacific coast the Glaucous-winged Gull population contains a large percentage of birds with Western Gull genes.

This bird strikes me as being 'pure'.

M B Lancaster,
Currently - Tenerife, Islas Canarias