My experience with both species is mainly work related (4 months of raptor migration surveys in Armenia, 10 months of breeding bird surveys in Armenia, 6 weeks of raptor migration in Egypt and 6 weeks of migration counts in southern Portugal). I also did a voluntary three weeks of raptor...
Here is a juv. Montagu's Harrier (photographed in Belgium) compared to the subject bird:
And here is a colour-ringed, recently fledged Montagu's (born in the Netherlands) with distinct buff collar up to nape, extensive dark head pattern, rather pale secondaries, bold, broken dark barring on...
Surely this is a Montagu's Harrier?
Long outermost primary (same length as P6), solid black 'fingers' and the neat, regular barring on the primaries (lacking the bold median bar on inner primaries of Pallid) point in that direction, as does the plain head/neck pattern.
Hi, the primary pattern of this bird fits brachyrhynchus and not kamtschatschensis, since it shows a distinct grey base to the outer web of P9, only a short black wedge on the outer web of P7 (less than half the length of the feather), and a nice symmetrical black pattern on P5-6. Most Kamchatka...
On the breeding grounds Thayer's Gull can be identified rather easily since they breed much further north in the High Arctic than most other large gulls (except Glaucous). However, most birders (like me) have studied this species only on its wintering grounds, where it is found in mixed gull...
The thing is: "Herring Gull-like structure", "quite large bill", "forehead not steep enough" - these features are fairly useless, since they are readily shown by Thayer's Gulls on the breeding grounds.
Lemon-yellow instead of orange-yellow bill base, strong contrast between dark grey mantle and pale rump, and a very dark leading edge to the arm...
I know it is very rare along the Mediterranean coast, but I cannot help wondering if this is not a Greater Crested Tern rather than Lesser?
With just one picture and no open wing shots it is going to be extremely difficult if not impossible to "confirm" a hybrid.
Why not just leave this bird unidentified?
Moreover, what can be seen of the primary pattern (e.g. a large amount of black on the inner web of P8, more extensive than in...
Not Glaucous-winged since the pattern of the outer primaries is too dark and contrasting and the tail pattern is all wrong.
It is either a Thayer's Gull or a West Coast hybrid; I would identify it as the former but choosing between the two seems to be very much a matter of personal preference...
Olsen & Larsson is now 16 years old.
It contains many inaccuracies, including wrongly aged birds.
The texts are a lot longer, more descriptive and not easy to digest.
Tell me, for instance, after reading the chapter on American Herring Gull, do you feel that you can identify one?
Some more info:
Title (preliminary): Gulls of the Western Palearctic
Authors: Peter Adriaens, Mars Muusse, Frédéric Jiguet and Philippe J. Dubois
Deals with all taxa that have been recorded at least once in the WP.
Includes a large collection of (modern day) photographs, on which key field...
We are in the final stages of preparing a new identification guide for the gulls of the Western Palearctic.
We are now urgently looking for high quality photographs of specific plumages of various gull taxa.
We would be grateful if you could have a look at the list on...
the first bird looks interesting, with its dark greater coverts contrasting with clean white underparts, but better shots of the underwing are needed to identify this bird.
For the second bird (from Prenzlau), photos of the underwing are missing altogether?
In that case it can...