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Gull. Lithuania

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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 14:14   #1
marius.k
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Gull. Lithuania

Merry Christmas everyone!

Gull from today.
Could it be Herring gull omissus type?
Or just a strange Caspian with bulky and short beak?
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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 16:47   #2
Steve Lister
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Nothing really suggests Caspian at all. Looks like a Herring Gull, but is it odd for a northern bird to have such a white head already? A few southern birds do, but the northern birds wintering here are still very streaky-headed.

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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 17:27   #3
marius.k
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Lithuanian Herring gulls are also streaky-headed at the moment, that was strange for me too.
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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 17:40   #4
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Why could michahellis be excluded? I'm not sure, but I see many features that fits this species: broad black band over P5, darkgrey upperparts, squary head, no streaking on head, heavy gonysangle and yellow legs... .
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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 18:07   #5
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i also think along those lines. an underwing shot would have helped. not so ideal for YLG are the all white p10 tip, rel. large apical spots (white primary tips), apparently grey base of p9 and rel. slim bill base. but all would be within variation of this taxon. an all white head is not an exclusion trait for argentatus though! so, i'm inclined to call this a michahellis but without other pics and concerning the rarity of this taxon in lithuania at this time of year i'd be cautious and not 100% exclude a white headed "omissus" type herring gull with white head.
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Last edited by lou salomon : Thursday 25th December 2014 at 19:11. Reason: typo
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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 18:27   #6
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I have more photos, but most of them are similar to those above. Upload few additional photos, but probably it won't help.
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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 18:36   #7
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Thank you for the explanation, Lou! What do you mean with the apparently grey base of P9? Do you mean that less of 50% is black?

I compared with a few pictures of adult YLG and I noticed that the grey part on P9 is smaller than on this bird, but they also have a (smaller) base of grey.
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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 19:01   #8
lou salomon
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it helps, marius. unfortunately i have to tell, it is not a YLG but a very micha-like herring gull, probably a younger adult. shows, that these yellow-legged herring gulls can show a rather frustrating amount of YLG features. solid p5 mark might be age related (4th or 5th cycle) but can be shown by adult baltic herring gulls, too. same goes for the red orbital, same goes for bright yellow legs (usually less bright in most "omissus" types at this time of year), same goes for the white head. it might have some cachi-genes as i suspect in quite some of these strange eastern baltic herring gulls.
now what makes me feel so sure about it not being a micha?
it's the underwing pattern. left wing, pic 1 in post 6: there you have a largely black p10 underside, then a strong rectangular kink towards the primary tips, leaving only little black on p6-8(9). i never saw this pattern in michahellis but in a few herring gulls. now the large apical spots make sense...

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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 19:09   #9
Valéry Schollaert
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probably a younger adult
Isn't the dark grey on secondaries a sign that it is not fully adult?
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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 19:14   #10
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can't see that. in the 2nd flight shot? well, there seems to be something darker but i'd call that an illusion since in first flight shot it is absent. more black, less white in primary tip is a sign of younger age, though. when getting older p9 mirror will be larger also.
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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 19:16   #11
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Thanks a lot, Lou!
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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 19:52   #12
Valéry Schollaert
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Here, Lou
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Old Thursday 25th December 2014, 21:58   #13
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i took that for some blown feathers, valéry.
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Old Friday 26th December 2014, 15:39   #14
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Hi, to my eyes this Gull should be a micha (i´m reluctant to contradict Lou ) but mantle-tone, apical-spots, black on upper prims, P5 included, and small mirror on P9 are in range with YLG in my opinion. Strong, parallel edged, blunt, intensive coloured bill and red orbital-ring as well and i guess there is a small black marking in spot on P10 tip. Couldn´t there be anything wrong with pic 1 in post 6?

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