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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 07:02   #1
Pavel
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Juvenile Gull ID

Any help to ID this large gull surfing yesterday along NE Bulgarian Black Sea coast?
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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 07:40   #2
dwatsonbirder
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Looks a bit like a 2cy Pallas's gull
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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 08:27   #3
Joern Lehmhus
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id say that is because it is a Pallas gull
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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 08:57   #4
Simon Wates
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Any help to ID this large gull surfing yesterday
That's quite a balancing act

Agree with Pallas's Gull.
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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 10:22   #5
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Thank you guys, some friends from Facebook said 2cy YLG! That's why I needed confirmation.
Greetings
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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 17:37   #6
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Thank you guys, some friends from Facebook said 2cy YLG! That's why I needed confirmation.
Greetings
For me this isn't a Pallas's Gull and I think your friends were onto something with YLG.

If this was a Pallas's gull it would be a 1st winter/second calendar year.

If a YLGull it would have to be a 2nd winter/3cy (which is what I believe it is)

I have no direct experience with PG but I would expect one to show a more droopy bill than this bird, with a dark 'smudge' that is strongest towards the rear of the ear-covert area. This bird has the darkest markings concentrated immediately around the eye, with very little towards the rear. More importantly, where are those conspicuous sleepy white eye-crescents that are so characteristic of Pallas's Gull? ...and the dark hind-neck 'shawl' of that species (also mostly lacking).

The basal half of the bill here looks more yellowish to me than the pink I would expect to see on PG (though it's difficult to make a really accurate assessment from this image).

Finally, even an advanced second-calendar year PG should show some retained first generation (brown) tertials, yet this bird has fully replaced all of its tertials to grey feathers-another feature which rings alarm bells for Pallas's.

Therefore, for me this is not a Pallas's Gull at all but probably a 2nd winter/3cy YLG. I hesitate to be more certain as I don't see many YLG of this age in my part of the world...

Last edited by SteveClifton : Wednesday 10th January 2018 at 18:30.
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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 18:51   #7
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Steve makes some very valid points regarding issues with Pallas’s Gull, however in referencing Grant with respect to 1st winter Pallas’s - “the white eye-lids and dark eye mask can be much weaker, barely affecting the impression of a white head”. Furthermore, confusion at this age of Pallas’s Gull is more with Caspian Gull due to the pale underwing. Yellow Legged Gull should be showing darker feathering to some of the underwing, especially the coverts. The darker markings on the face and heavy-ish bill though fit better YLG and Pallas’s but not Caspian...
A tricky ID for me due to that very pale underwing...
Do we also have to consider potential moult? The extension of grey onto the upper wing coverts corresponds with 2nd Winter YLG and Caspian Gull starting to moult now towards 2nd summer plumage so grey should be appearing in the upperwing. There does seem to be moult patterning there. If it wasn’t for that pale underwing!
Overall for me... many pointers are towards 2nd Winter YLG moulting into 3rd Summer (apart from that pale underwing!!!) but I’m not 100% by any means.
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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 19:46   #8
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This is clearly a 2nd winter YLG
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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 21:18   #9
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This is clearly a 2nd winter YLG
Thoughts on the pale underwing? I bow to your wisdom on matters of the Gull world but on 2nd year birds should it be a concern or is it fine because the bird is showing evidence of moult? Did a bit of reading and found this old post... not suggesting this is Armenian but in another post involving 2nd cycle potential YLG another person mentions the issue of pale underwing in the last post and no responses... Just curious :-)

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=313689

Last edited by nobbyball : Thursday 11th January 2018 at 06:43.
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 13:16   #10
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Thanks again for your interesting discussions on this really amazing and tricky bird.
Greetings,
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 19:03   #11
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Originally Posted by SteveClifton View Post
For me this isn't a Pallas's Gull and I think your friends were onto something with YLG.

If this was a Pallas's gull it would be a 1st winter/second calendar year.

If a YLGull it would have to be a 2nd winter/3cy (which is what I believe it is)

I have no direct experience with PG but I would expect one to show a more droopy bill than this bird, with a dark 'smudge' that is strongest towards the rear of the ear-covert area. This bird has the darkest markings concentrated immediately around the eye, with very little towards the rear. More importantly, where are those conspicuous sleepy white eye-crescents that are so characteristic of Pallas's Gull? ...and the dark hind-neck 'shawl' of that species (also mostly lacking).

The basal half of the bill here looks more yellowish to me than the pink I would expect to see on PG (though it's difficult to make a really accurate assessment from this image).

Finally, even an advanced second-calendar year PG should show some retained first generation (brown) tertials, yet this bird has fully replaced all of its tertials to grey feathers-another feature which rings alarm bells for Pallas's.

Therefore, for me this is not a Pallas's Gull at all but probably a 2nd winter/3cy YLG. I hesitate to be more certain as I don't see many YLG of this age in my part of the world...
Yes , I think you are onto something with these tertials. didnt realize before. That is certainly at odds with Pallas and rather points to something else like YLG.
Concerning the other points: These wouldnt really exclude Pallas i think when looking at a single photo. I know Pallas only from photos and videos (internet searches as basis for painting some time ago), but there in Pallas Gull the darkest markings of the head pattern are around the eye, but the closeby white eye crescents are quite contrasting in most photos. the following link shows this.
http://gull-research.org/ichthyaetus...%2018.3.11.jpg
However, occasionally in some photos which are not totally focused, this can appear much less visible.
Also for me most photos of 2cy Pallas show yellowish tones in the bill.

so what about the underwing?

also curious now
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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 14:07   #12
lou salomon
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despite it's pointed bill i'd support the ID as 2nd winter (3cy) michahellis for this bird. surely not a pallas's, which among others always shows a white underwing with sharply demarkated points and lines in its first winter; and then head pattern, lacking of white eye "lids", distribution of brown and adult grey feathers on upperwing and broad tail band exclude ichthyaetus. a bit more difficult it is to exclude an advanced caspian gull here, though (especially with that bill).
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Old Tuesday 16th January 2018, 22:37   #13
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Originally Posted by nobbyball View Post
Thoughts on the pale underwing? I bow to your wisdom on matters of the Gull world but on 2nd year birds should it be a concern or is it fine because the bird is showing evidence of moult? Did a bit of reading and found this old post... not suggesting this is Armenian but in another post involving 2nd cycle potential YLG another person mentions the issue of pale underwing in the last post and no responses... Just curious :-)

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=313689
2nd winter YLG can show pale underwing no problem for that ;-)
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