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Immature Gull ID Dutch coast (March 13, 2021) (1 Viewer)


Frank van de Velde
Could someone help me to ID this immature Gull? Seen last sunday in very stormy weather in IJmuiden (North Sea coast). It was trying (in vain) to rob a Great Cormorant of its catch (seen in the first and last image). Very poor visibility and a great distance, my images are not very clear unfortunately.

The trailing light band on the inner primaries (but no apparent lighter 'window', that would point me to Herring or perhaps Caspian) and the presence of a clear dark trailing band on the secondaries (reminiscent of Caspian, but since the 'window' lacks, Caspian doesn't seem to fit) puzzle me. (The wing would be too light for either Great of Lesser Black-Backed?) Well, probably it's one of the mentioned Gulls after all and am I confusing myself with their characteristics...

Bye, Frank


  • 2021-Mar-13 Gull.jpg
    2021-Mar-13 Gull.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 61

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Frank,

difficult picture, at least for me: but it looks ok for a 2cy Caspian Gull by the features you mentioned. Narrow tail band and what appears to be a very pale underwing looks better for this than for a LBBG, but I dont have experience with Heuglin's gull or 2 cy Baltic Gull (the ones with the paler underwing)
I even thought of a 2 cy Common Gull, but strong bill is wrong for this as is robbing behaviour towards a Great Cormorant.
Your gull has slightly paler inner primaries within variation for a Caspian Gull, I think (oh, those intgrades!).

lou salomon

the birdonist
looks like a 1st winter common gull to me. bill is probably not as strong as it appears. with such a narrow tailband with pure white tail it only can be common or pallas's gull (and of course it is not a pallas's ;) ).


Frank van de Velde
Hi Alexander and Lou,

Thank you for helping me here!

Common Gull didn't occur to me at all, as I assumed it would would have to be a larger Gull to persistently take on a Great Cormorant. But indeed, after consulting my copy of Olsen's Gulls it looks good for Common to my eye. Also, when looking again at Caspian while taking Lou's observation on the tail into account (narrow band) it doesn't seem to fit completely. Especially the light wing & dark trailing band on the secondaries, that puzzled me, match Common. (Perhaps also Mediterranean, but Mediterranean's wing pattern is even more contrasting.) Statistics are on Common's side as well in this area.

Well, I should have known, seeing this bird in a gale, as its Dutch name is 'Stormmeeuw', literally "Storm Gull" ;)

And also good to learn that Common's behaviour is quite a bit more formidable than I thought it would be, at least during storms in the Netherlands...

Thank you again,
Regards, Frank

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Thank you Lou from me, too. I must admit that although Common Gull came into my mind, as said, (mainly by long, narrow wings,and overall colouration-jizz), I dismissed it by strong looking bill and head-profile with bulging breast, resulting in a jizz for a large Gull for me (picture 1 and 2).
And Gull looked to large in picture 1 in relation to the Cormorant.
And more: I cant remember seeing a single Common Gull that tried to steal/mobb a single Greater Cormorant, while larger Gulls regular do this. I have seen Common Gull (than often in companion with other Gulls) appearantly trying to take advantage from a flock of Cormorants gathering fishs.
Very interesting documentation of a very unusual behaviour (or need I more experience here?) by this single Common Gull. Thanks for sharing and Lou for correction!
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