Thursday, 16 February 2012

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides), 3cy, 5.2.2012, Hanstholm Harbour #1

This is the first of eight white-winged gulls found in the Hanstholm Harbour area in just one day, with six Kumlien's /Iceland Gull-types and one 2cy and one 3cy Glaucous Gull.

It has been identified as a Kumlien's Gull by other people just a few days before, but personally, I think that despite some stippling in the primaries it may just be a well pigmented Iceland Gull. The pattern of pale and dark in the primaries is not matching that of a classic Kumlien’s Gull as dark shading is missing on the outer webs of the outer primaries and only present along the tip.

Note that it is not abnormal for 2nd- and, especially, 3rd-cycle glaucoides to show a brown wash on the outer primaries. The plumage of these immature gulls often looks quite retarded, with still lots of brown in the wing. Note that the brown wash on outer primaries of such birds simply matches the brown wash on outer secondaries, as is often the case in other 3rd-cycle gulls (e.g. Herring Gull). It is just a trait of immature plumage.

Here seen in front of the third of the four 3cy Iceland Gulls seen today.

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