'mystery gulls' - 'mysteriemeeuwen'

'mystery gulls'

'mysteriemeeuwen'

Larus species

Pictures: Teus Luijendijk

 

Here I upladed some more pictures of gulls that I couldn't identify. Identification of the large gulls of the argentatus/cachinnans/michahellis complex is sometimes fairly straightforward, but every now and then I come across birds that seem to have decided for themselves what they look like. On the other hand, I must admit that I have not made any particular effort to study really thoroughly on the plumages of these taxa, so some of the birds shown here might be easier to determine than I thought. I called this page 'mystery gulls', but this was perhaps too enigmatic??
Any comments are welcome! Please mail me at teus.www@tiscali.nl.

 

31 January 2004, Katwijk aan Zee ZH

6 March 2004, Katwijk aan Zee ZH

4 May 2005, Katwijk aan Zee ZH

 

31 January 2004, Katwijk aan Zee ZH

The Binnenwatering in the fishing village of Katwijk aan Zee ZH often holds 100s of large gulls. Looking through these birds, I once noticed one that completely deviated from all the others, in having very boldly patterned upperparts, rather uniformly patterned wing coverts and a mainly whitish head. The bill was obviously two-toned and the plumage did not suggest it to be a second-winter bird. The jizz, too, was far from that of a Caspian Gull L. cachinnans.

  'mystery gull'  -  'mysteriemeeuw'  Larus species   first winter;  videograbs (320x).
  Katwijk aan Zee ZH, The Netherlands, 31 January 2004.

 

6 March 2004, Katwijk aan Zee ZH

A bird that was already seen before at this site on 8 February this year. Jizz very much reminiscent of Caspian Gull L. cachinnans, with characteristic sloping forehead, long wings, and long, parallel-edged bill without very obvious gonydeal angle. Boldly patterned greyish mantle, mainly dark greater coverts (forming a sort of bar on the closed wing), whitish head (though with clear stripes on the nape), dark tertials with pale fringes and almost wholly dark bill.
Underwing, however, mainly 'coffee-with-milk' dark.

  'mystery gull'  -  'mysteriemeeuw'  Larus species   first winter;  videograbs (320x).
  Katwijk aan Zee ZH, The Netherlands, 6 March 2004.

 

4 May 2005, Katwijk aan Zee ZH

A bird that also may have been seen a few days before. It was very distinctive, showing a pale brown set of primaries and only slight dark tail band. The whole structure of the bird, too, was rather obvious: long wings and therefore a quite different, elongated jizz as compared to other gulls around. As it also showed a rather obvious dark secondary bar, my guess is that it's a leucistic Herring Gull. Head (though smallish) and bill appear to be OK for Herring Gull as well. What gave rise to the different jizz is unclear, though.

  'mystery gull'  -  'mysteriemeeuw'  Larus species   first winter;  picture built up of videograbs (320x).
  Katwijk aan Zee ZH, The Netherlands, 4 May 2005.

 


Copyright ©Teus Luijendijk 2004-2005