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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 14:17   #126
SteveMM
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A small number of gulls out on my sandbar today. Thanks to a strong cold front it got cut off to vehicles, meaning no fishermen!

The first photo contains four adult and three first-winter taimyrensis. Hard to see in the photo, but all the first-winters are all actively replacing their greater coverts with rather solid greyish feathers. This is easier to see in flight (second photo). The bird sitting in the centre is an adult vegae, and a further adult is obscured in the background.

A first-winter Slaty-backed Gull also flew past offshore, as did an unidentified first-winter. Before, I would have called this a taimyrensis, but I am now confused as to why it is not replacing its greater coverts and why its scapulars have been replaced with feathers of a patterned 'first-winter' type.
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Old Tuesday 11th April 2017, 17:24   #127
balex78
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Is the flying adult a vega? Look at those prominent pale tongues with wide white tips
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Old Monday 4th December 2017, 03:32   #128
SteveMM
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Not sure how much time I'll have to spend on these this winter, but will post as and when I come across birds that can be photographed.

This weekend, two adult taimyrensis gulls did come close. These were quite representative of the half a dozen or so I came across over the weekend in terms of moult, being only at mid-primaries and with some secondaries still growing.
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Old Thursday 7th December 2017, 09:25   #129
Dean Nicholson
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Excellent thread, many thanks Steve (and Alex!) - inspiring and horrifying in equal measures!

Steve, any thoughts on this adult bird from England in late March 2012 - http://birdingfrontiers.com/2012/03/...-lincolnshire/
I (and others) considered to be a good taimyrensis candidate at the time, a bold claim i know but would seem to fit? No open wing shot unfortunately but the p10 mirror can be seen well and does seem to show at least some black on p4. Lots of black in the prims.
I don't subscribe to the Herring x LBB hybrid theory here (quite familiar with those by and large) although a michahelis hybrid (with either LBB or Herring) might be a little more difficult to rule out - but even then could that combo still show dense nape streaking like that?.....at the end of March(!)

Any comments greatly appreciated.....

Cheers
Dean
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Old Friday 8th December 2017, 04:16   #130
SteveMM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Nicholson View Post
Steve, any thoughts on this adult bird from England in late March 2012 - http://birdingfrontiers.com/2012/03/...-lincolnshire/
Hi Dean,

I can't see anything on this bird that would rule out taimyrensis, and superficially at least it looks much like the birds we get here. In fact, the head/nape streaking (a cluster of streaks on the nape and a 'dusting' around the eye) looks spot on for many at that time of year, as do the fresh-looking but rather smallish apical spots on the (presumably recently replaced) primaries. (Both of these features would rule out any YLG influence, no?)

The only thing that does look odd to me is all that bulk. The 'best' taimyrensis (and I hesitate to use the word 'typical') are on the slender side, with long-looking wings; your bird seems a bit 'brutish' to me. However, the first bird in my last post above (#128) looks similarly 'brutish', so I guess your bird still falls within range.

I've added a few more late Feb/Mar photos of taimyrensis. The first photo shows the 'best' taimyrensis (with its long wings), and these structurally don't look much like your bird. The last photo shows a collection of mostly taimyrensis (with all its variation), some of which do look a lot more like your bird!

As Yoav says in the original thread, though, it would be nice to have an open wing to look at, and I don't know how much further you could go with this bird without that!

No help whatsoever, then, in the end!

Steve
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Old Friday 8th December 2017, 15:28   #131
Dean Nicholson
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Thanks Steve,

Nice to get feedback from someone who actually see's these regularly....
Like you say it was a chunky bird and obviously bigger than the LBB's present, more Herring or Y-L Gull size.
Re-assuring to see the broad tertial crescents on your birds too as this was a concern of mine at the time and also picked up on by Jan in his reply.
It still looks good to me but unfortunately just wont make the grade without a spread wing. Been looking hard for similar beasts every year since but haven't come close to anything quite like that.....i remember the neck shawl standing out markedly, it was literally the only adult gull present which had one - this feature alone worth bearing in mind for anybody else looking at 'LBB's' around the Feb/March/April period.
Got to be on the radar here....

Cheers
Dean
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Old Sunday 10th December 2017, 15:41   #132
SteveMM
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A few gulls around at one site today, but just the usual suspects involved. First a few mongolicus.

The first-winter has lovely new silvery-grey scapulars with black arrowhead markings in the centre, greater coverts which are already showing signs of bleaching, secondaries which are showing signs of wear, brownish tones to the (faded) primaries, and a well-defined narrow tail band. Would like to track this one down again!

The two adults have completed their primary moults (quite unlike taimyrensis) and have nice pale tongues to about half way down the underside of P10.
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Old Sunday 10th December 2017, 15:53   #133
SteveMM
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The other usual one is taimyrensis.

In contrast to the mongolicus, this first-winter is still juvenile with solidly blackish-brownish greater coverts and no real signs of wear. The adults (or near) still have a long way to go to complete their primary moults and have secondaries still growing.
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