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large gulls - Poland (1 Viewer)

Michał Jaro

Well-known member
I have a question about this immature gull - which is quite dark, especially from the underwing coverts (1,2,3) and has a rather thick beak ('well marked gonys angle' Collins BG).
Could be Yellow legged Gull?
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
I must be mad at commenting on a large Gull, but: with such a good looking neck-band (consiting of sharp, narrow, streaks) isolated from an appearantly pure white head (Pro cachinnans, lacking dark shadow streaks around eye, forming a mask typical for YLG)) together with bulky bill, darker underwing coverts and barred axillaries (features of Herring Gull or YLG), this seems one of those CaspianxHerring Gulls to me, that are regular in Poland.
But I have learned here from Steve Clifton and Deb in another thread, that variation for an acceptable Caspian Gull is greater than I thought.
Conclusion? Better to learn from others, and: yes, bed time now!

Edit: picture seems to show a slightly washed mask around eye, but even after lokking again, I see a neck band of just a few streaks (shouldnt the YLG Gull with a similar neck band have a neck band containg of more streaks? (Thats the impression I got from these two species in first winer birds)
 
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Michał Jaro

Well-known member
I'm sorry for not writing back for a long time .. and thank you Alexv for your arguments. Let us assume that the gull is unrecognized with an indication of capspian ?.
I'm adding some other gulls I can't recognize - especially the one with the collar ??
The first one is probably a Caspian, but I am wondering about the strong beak and dark undersice with under-wing coverts.
Place - south Poland, August.
 

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lou salomon

the birdonist
is that the same bird in all 5 pics in post 1? looks like a male type caspian gull with the caveat that it has quite darkish underwing and thus could be a hybrid (with herring gull), but there exist such dark caspian gulls. please add the location in poland for this bird if you remember it. it makes a big difference if you are at the coast or in southern poland. all birds in post 3 are caspian gulls.
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Thank you Lou for your comment. I must admit that I saw the new pictures yesterday and would have identified the darker first-winter gull (pictures 1-3) also as a HerringxCaspian Gull hybrid, because of extensive dirty, blotchy brownish pattern so I am glad I didnt wrote a comment.
I must admit, I have nearly given up with large-Gull identification in NE-Germany. I only identify those bird that looks like good ID-book birds (excluding some Great and adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls). I have learned from your comments and others, that I havent enough experience with variation of Caspian Gull, one reason for this is certainly, that I have no experience with Caspian Gulls in the core range of this species in extreme eastern Europe and Asia. Therefore getting experience with variation of Caspian Gull in Europe is something like "poking around in the dark" for me.

Conclusion: Thank you all for commenting on large Gull ID, so helpful to me!
So much to learn for me, when it comes to large Gulls!
 

lou salomon

the birdonist
alexander, a good hint in underwing views is the small white "tongue" just at the base of p10 in cachinnans (in 1st cycles). this very rarely is the case in pure herring gulls and i've not seen it in YLG (or don't remember). so, that's one of the more 'solid' features. more variable are bill shape, underwing colour etc.
as for the bird in pics 2-3, note the 'venetian blind' pattern on inner primaries plus white head. this can be shown also by some YLGs to this extent but overall pattern seems very diluted in this bird also. so cachinnans.
 

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Michał Jaro

Well-known member
Lou , Alex thank you very much for the great explanations. All birds are from southern Poland . There were 3 different birds. Most of the big gulls I meet here are caspian, and I generally think I get to know the adults quite well. I have a problem with imm.. Although slowly, I am starting to notice the differences - especially when it comes to the overall appearance, the shape of the head, bill. I will drop birds here that I recognized as YL in the past, I wonder if it is correct? :)
 

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