• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Gulls - Cabo Raso, Portugal 19.10 (1 Viewer)

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
Some gulls from today.

Had a bit of a swatch today. A.couple of medium Shearwaters but too far and quickly gone for me, one Storm Petrel, I'm sticking with Storm Petrel sp although because it was so small I'm thinking Storm Petrel - it was super close but kept hiding in the waves!, one Short Eared Owl in off - the bxxxxy camera wouldn't focus so no picture, some Sandwich terns and then these gulls.

1 and 2 - juv Med Gull
3 Adult med Gull
4 Lesser Black Backed - can race be assigned?
5 This YLG stood out because of its dark hood - should it?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_7118.jpg
    IMG_7118.jpg
    55.4 KB · Views: 110
  • IMG_7122.jpg
    IMG_7122.jpg
    45.1 KB · Views: 108
  • IMG_7133.jpg
    IMG_7133.jpg
    27.9 KB · Views: 125
  • IMG_7155.jpg
    IMG_7155.jpg
    564.2 KB · Views: 104
  • IMG_7158.jpg
    IMG_7158.jpg
    112.4 KB · Views: 149

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
Last two...

I'm thinking 1st winter med gull again...
 

Attachments

  • IMG_7165.jpg
    IMG_7165.jpg
    14.6 KB · Views: 35
  • IMG_7167.jpg
    IMG_7167.jpg
    20 KB · Views: 35

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello,
I agree with your 1cy Med Gulls: right unique underwing pattern and the right dark mask behind the eye.
The adult Med Gull is also ok for me, I see nothing against it, the black face mask can be reduced in some ad winter Med.
I agree with Lesser Blackbacked Gull, it doesnt look black enough and has a streaked head, so I think fuscus can be excluded.

I know that Azorean Yellow legged Gull has a more darker hood, but I dont have experience with those. FWIW here is an immature large Gull with a similar dark hood: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiWYVnk
 

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
Thank you for the responses...

I have a few more pictures of it if need be - it stood out in the crowd - I wonder if the colour of the bill helps at all I as it was lighter than the other gulls around it.
Gulls and seabirds are not really my 'bag'. Expecting South Westerly winds tomorrow afternoon so expect more photos of birds to identify...
 

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
Couple more...
 

Attachments

  • F824C18F-C01C-44D2-878E-289C89C81A9D.jpg
    F824C18F-C01C-44D2-878E-289C89C81A9D.jpg
    124.4 KB · Views: 88
  • 258241AE-CB98-4526-A694-0FAB8956BD72.jpg
    258241AE-CB98-4526-A694-0FAB8956BD72.jpg
    231.2 KB · Views: 65

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
This looks look like very much the Atlantic Yellow-legged Gulls I saw on the Canaries (a few years ago) (Larus michahellis atlantis) moulting to winter plumage. The short strong legs (some were very pale yellow!) and very pale iris with red orbital ring were defining features as were the heavily streaked ‘hood’. Michahellis are longer legged and more gangly and obviously pale headed in winter. The small amount of black on the bill perhaps indicating ‘near’ adult.

The thing that confuses me greatly with image 5 (of the ? gull) though is the apparent mantle colour which only looks 5-6 on the kodak scale while I think YLG should be about 9-10 https://www.researchgate.net/figure...or-filter-and-gamma-estimation_fig2_224752347. If I remember correctly, the Canaries gulls were even darker about 9-10 (and LBBG darker than that) so I wonder if this is lighting/exposure? The image on the left in the last lot of pictures actually looks more like a 11 (about right for Atlantic) when you compare the ‘out of direct light’ wing colour with the kodak scale (which is how you are suppose to assess grey tone) so perhaps it is just the perception of the image/lighting?

Like you ‘gulls are not my bag’ so I don’t know how helpful my experience on the Canaries is here!
 
Last edited:

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
Interesting - glad I took some pictures!

Is the red at the start (not really base) significant? Red orbital ring seems to be important, almost seems to have a slight mask within the colouring, lighter leg and bill colour...

I haven't got much literature with me (one bird book) and the internet so I'm really relying on you guys. Should add when I lived next to the sea there were only about 5 types of Gull now there're hundreds!
 

HH75

Well-known member
Hi there,
Are there any more images of the 'hooded' Yellow-legged Gull showing the pattern of the spread wing a bit better than the initial shot? Purely in terms of the head pattern, this does suggest so-called 'Azorean atlantis', but the upperparts tone seems perhaps slightly too pale for that form and I'm wondering if it could be something thrown up within variation of local populations?
There is an excellent paper in the latest Dutch Birding entitled 'The Identification of Azores Gull', and this postulates a combination of wingtip features which should allow at least some Azorean birds to be conclusively identified in a vagrant context, so any shot showing the spread wing a bit more clearly could be very useful!
Regards,
Harry
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Like Harry, I too wondered about the possibility of a flight shot when I was looking at this earlier this morning, I think I recall p9 is supposed to have just a white tip or no mirror on Atlantics (I’m assuming for now, these are the same race as I saw on the Canaries?) but can’t remember at what time of the year this should be apparent - (also about the possibility of regional variation since the Atlantic gulls on the Canaries were definitely nearer the LBBG in greyscale and could be compared to the michahellis that were also present on the islands)

Interestingly I came across this Azores individual coming back to this thread, which seems more like a michahellis in greyscale (note primaries still in moult)

http://gull-research.org/atlantis/atlantis5cy/5cyaug06.html

found the illustration I was thinking of earlier
http://gull-research.org/atlantis/images/recent/lajovleugelsalulacopy.jpg

Of course, another possibility is that unlike the Canaries population of Atlantic Yellow Legged gulls, some of the Azores individuals could represent a clinal intergrade with michahellis or even represent a ‘true’ hybrid zone.

It would be interesting to hear Lou’s take on this.
 
Last edited:

HH75

Well-known member
Hi Deb,
There is a stronger tendency for Yellow-legged Gulls of various Atlantic populations, by no means just those on island groups, to lack a white mirror on P9 as adults. Of course, some 'Mediterranean michahellis' can lack them also, but it is rarer for them to do so. Use of the name atlantis varies, and confuses matters, and it may very well be that the subspecific taxonomy of Yellow-legged Gull is outdated.
As per the article in Dutch Birding, the Kodak grey scale value range for the more familiar western Mediterranean birds is 5-7, with Azores birds scoring 7-9. Birds breeding in Portugal, however, range from 6.5-8, so separation on upperparts tone alone would be very tricky there. As 'hooded' birds can occur within Atlantic Iberian populations (though this bird is incredibly well-marked), it may take a combination of the head markings and some primary detail to conclusively prove this as an 'Azores Gull', but, given that there's been a proven vagrant from that population as far north as Iceland, and given the geographical position of Cabo Raso, one cannot assume that it is 'just' an odd/well-marked local bird.
Of the authors of that paper, Peter Adriaens posts on here occasionally, it would be interesting to see what he or any of the others make of this bird. It would also be great to see a nice spread wing pic!
Regards,
Harry
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Thanks Harry for clarification on wing pattern (and grey scales!) - as always your expertise is appreciated on the ID forum! I am clearly so far out of my depth now, so I will shut up and swim quickly to shore and watch the remaining discussion with interest ;)
 

HH75

Well-known member
Thanks Harry for clarification on wing pattern (and grey scales!) - as always your expertise is appreciated on the ID forum! I am clearly so far out of my depth now, so I will shut up and swim quickly to shore and watch the remaining discussion with interest ;)

Nonsense, Deb, I don't really know that much about 'Atlantic Yellow-legged Gulls' myself, it's all relative, and your input is much appreciated same as anyone else's. Looking forward to someone with more experience chipping in! :t:
 

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
Assuming this is the same bird here's a couple more - let's be honest if it is a different bird then that solves the question of there being some local colouring.... These taken today.

Either way hope this helps.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_7243.jpg
    IMG_7243.jpg
    81.9 KB · Views: 39
  • IMG_7245.JPG
    IMG_7245.JPG
    147.9 KB · Views: 41

RafaelMatias

Unknown member
Portugal
Hi, sorry I cannot add anything really relevant to what's been said already on those very interesting posts above. Just some points:
- Azorean YLG might not be a rarity on the Portuguese coast, but we just don't know that for sure because the picture is muddled due to many factors; it has never been considered a rarity by the Portuguese rarities committee and that may also not stimulate people to try harder and submit records, etc. As the Azores are part of the country, the pressure and interest is not also huge to record a subspecies on the mainland that breeds "just in another part of the country". There are ID limitations that prevent this to happen as well, not enough literature, there isn't a very clear idea of how to ID safely individuals (more than recording "an individual showing characters of ssp. atlantis, etc). Say it's upgraded to a description rarity: how would people safely ID them in order to be sure their submission would be accepted and if a record was indeed submitted how would the committee members reach a safe conclusion (note I'm not part of the CPR for a few years now). Carl Baggott, among others, was very keen to look into this some years ago; some claims from him:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/carl_baggott/albums/72157712048784692
https://www.flickr.com/photos/carl_baggott/albums/72157700912620731
some "lusitanius" to compare:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/carl_baggott/albums/72157712096230061
https://www.flickr.com/photos/carl_baggott/albums/72157712320212422
Note the type specimen of lusitanius is from Peniche/Berlengas, and I'm not sure these are the same as in Cantabrian Spain, which might be relevant when searching for photos online.
There are fishing vessels going back and forth between the mainland and the Azores all the time, so I'd not be surprised if indeed it occurs regularly.
- the OP bird doesn't strike me as dark enough for a typical Azorean atlantis, but not all of them are on the extreme darker end of the spectrum in the Azores (so that per se is not conclusive).
Some examples and nice relevant info here:
http://gull-research.org/atlantis/1cyoct.html
http://gull-research.org/atlantis/atlantis5cy/5cyoct001.html
- re the Canarian "atlantis" gulls, I do believe that they may belong to another (not formally described) taxon, and not necessarily the same as the Azorean one (as Harry says above, the YLG taxonomy is probably still not fully solved, it's really probably a mess). I worked for a few years with Yellow-legged Gulls on the Selvagens islands (about 150 km N of Tenerife) and they never seemed quite right, especially on the upperparts colour (they were paler than typical Azorean); note I wasn't analyzing their plumage or studying their ID, I was studying their diet, so perhaps I'd reach a different conclusion if I were doing a dedicated study and take this opinion with a grain of salt.
- there's an additional problem that may add some more confusion, which is the fact that lusitanius and L. fuscus graellsii produce hybrids in Portugal (e.g. Berlengas) and I'm not sure of how those look like once they become adults, and how diverse those hybrids are (it's a total question mark for me)
- so in the end I think I just contributed to muddle it a bit more, but as rosbifs asked for my opinion (PM) here you are :)
I'm sure (or least hope) other people who've looked into Azorean YLG in more depth than I have (which is: not a lot!) will contribute to this thread and perhaps clarify some of the issues I made worse! :)
 

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
Well thanks all so far for the information and for taking your time with this gull - including PM. And some great photos examples of other birds.

Atlantis, Lustinus or other? I should reiterate I have very little experience of examining gulls (certainly not in recent times) but it looks like I missed the money shot when it comes to the wing or 'mirror' formula - more consistently Westerly tomorrow so will try again then! I am happy that it has produced some discussion and interest.

The orbital ring in Lustinus is described/shown as orange not red in this individual. The back in Atlantis is described as darker. The head seems darker and more uniform than Lustinus.

As Raphael (and a.n.other) says there is maybe some mileage that this bird is from the more southerly Atlantic islands where the mantles are more commonly at the lighter end of the scale.
 

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
As I failed to find this gull again on the third day are we leaving it there? He says moving onto Kestrels now...
 

RafaelMatias

Unknown member
Portugal
Just published on Dutch Birding (I haven't seen it):
ADRIAENS P., ALFREY P., GIBBINS Chr., LÓPEZ-VELASCO D., 2020.
Identification of Azores gull.
Dutch Birding, 42 (5) : 303-334.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top