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gulls, guls, gulls - Western Japan

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Old Tuesday 4th December 2007, 11:59   #1
lostinjapan
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gulls, guls, gulls - Western Japan

Three seperate birds here. I think I know 2 of them, but the 3rd has me stumped.

Any comments on ID welcome.
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Old Tuesday 4th December 2007, 14:28   #2
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1 and 3 look like either Slaty-backed or Glaucous-Winged. I am thiking GWG pretty much for bird 3. The wing tips look to be about the same shade as the rest of the plumage and perhaps its the angle making it look a bit darker. If they're indeed the same bird then that would rule out Slaty-Backed for the first one too. The plumage on bird #1 seems to be more contrasting in these photos than bird #2. I'd say birds 2 and 5 would be Vega perhaps in a fourth winter plumage. Having issues with #4 but I'm going to go with Glaucous-Winged Gull for now. I cannot see any black in those wing tips and the shade of gray is just about right.

Japan isn't my expert area for gulls so I'll wait fro JanJ and the others to let me know how far off I am.
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Old Tuesday 4th December 2007, 21:16   #3
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Well, well - perhaps not so easy -at least not with bird 2 & 5 which is the same individual as are bird 1 & 3. Perhaps 1 & 3 looks better for Slaty-backed on bill pattern - extensive pale base to both mandibles, usually darker in 1st winter GWG at this time of year and overall whitish head and upper breast.

http://www.coastside.net/chucao/gull...ous-winged.htm

However rather pale looking primaries and coarsely marked greater coverts (some variation though) might suggest neither SBG or GWG but instead hybrid origin?

http://starling.dyndns.org/~birdkita...cens/index.htm

http://starling.dyndns.org/~birdkita...agus/index.htm

2 & 5 - vegae/mongolicus.

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Old Tuesday 4th December 2007, 22:35   #4
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Yes indeed birds 1 and 3 are the same. Interesting that Jan goes for a hybrid, as that was my conclusion..a Slaty hybrid..as the primaries and greater coverts were indeed not what you'd expect for a Slaty.

As to 2 and 5, again the same bird and intriguing for me, as the bill is all over the place and the mantle was exceedingly pale, more so than the palest Vegae, and more the color of Mongolian. The head suggests Vegae, as was the primary pattern, The bill though seems to be half adult and half juvenile.

As to 4..well I had better attach some more pics and throw in some more of the possible hybrid.

I should have mentioned these pics were all taken in October..which is why 1st winter gull confused me..Slaty's don't usually develop a pink bill bas until the following spring.
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Last edited by lostinjapan : Tuesday 4th December 2007 at 22:39.
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Old Wednesday 5th December 2007, 22:59   #5
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Hi Sean.

The subject immature gull could not be a 1cy as it is taken in October, but rather a 2cy with retained juvenile tertials, many (all?) and primaries - at least outers - as we can´t see the open wing which I would very much like to. Maybe we are dealing with a retarded 2nd winter bird. Blowing image 2 up in post 4 the eye doe´s seem pale.
Another thing which I didn´t notice at first - is the pale underside of p10 -which narrows it down to Slaty-backed or Glaucous-winged in this case. Scapular pattern would fit a SBG not to mentioned the rosy legs. Speculations.

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