Iceland Gull and its dark mark

Stubber’s Green, West Midlands 30.1.12

Went back to look for the candidate American Herring Gull. No luck, but great views of the Iceland Gull, reckoned to be a 4th winter (a returning bird) by the keenest local birders. That’s in spite of its brownish marking in wings and tail.

I have also been a little disquieted that when preening and sometime when perched I got the impression of some darker marks in outer primaries– along webs. Today I got pics that show darker pigmentation at least on the outer web of p9– on the left wing in this shot. Birding is always interesting ; ) !

Also saw 1 adult Caspian Gull and at the Chasewater roost, 1st winter Caspian Gull, two 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull, the Iceland Gull (again) and an adult Mediterranean Gull. No bad!

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About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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3 Responses to Iceland Gull and its dark mark

  1. Phil Hyde says:

    Hi Martin,
    I know you’ll have browsed this site http://birdingfaroes.wordpress.com/ and I’ve been right through it too. I found the comments of their Newfoundland contact interesting with regard to atypical brown primary markings on some imm. glaucoides. The whole issue is clearly, to me anyway, much more complex than saying Kumliens’ have dark markings on their primaries. Immatures seem to be rather complex. My own ignorance appals me too !
    Regards,
    Phil Hyde

    • Martin Garner says:

      Hi Phil

      agree I wasn’t trying to make a ‘case’ just observing. lack of data on known origin glaucoides and their appearance is a big factor. There does seem to be higher number than usual ‘pale kumlieni’ maybe suggesting different origin from usual ‘set’ at St John’s Newfoundland. Perhaps the dominant melanin gene is spreading further into glaucoides colonies in Greenland? More Q’s than A’s I think
      Martin

      • Phil Hyde says:

        Yes, I wasn’t being critical ! I think its been a long time since there was any serious debate about Kumlien’s, almost as if the splitters have accepted its existence and thats that ! Good to see these blogs appearing and airing views and concerns. Looking to get out to Boston tip this week to check out our 2 Icelands – seen one, and it is glaucoides. The second is a 3CY bird with apparent dark primary markings, so…..? Let you know in due course. Debate on http://www.lincsbirdclub.co.uk plus photos. Cheers,
        Phil

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