Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gulls Gulls Gulls Gulls Gulls




An Iceland Gull doing something weird. All photographs today are from Fort Baker, Sausalito, CA.

WARNING: This is a full-on gull post. It will appeal to no one but gull fetishists. If you are larophobic, go away! But if you consider yourself a leading light in gull identification, feel free to throw in your two cents on any of the bizarre birds below.



Iceland Gull. So dainty. And white. And pink-billed. And dainty. AND RARE. Jesus Christ! So rare!



Iceland (back) and Thayer's Gulls. The Iceland is slimmer and smaller than Thayer's, and longer-winged. Some would even say...daintier. If you didn't catch it before, I have more photos of this bird up over here.


Well...here is a bird that looks like an Iceland Gull, but I reckon it's a super bleached Thayer's. That's a serious tail band. What do ya'll think? It seems like people have been claiming to find Iceland Gulls up and down the state for the past several weeks, including at Fort Baker, and possibly even including this bird...I am skeptical. No offense. There are a lot of bleached birds around, making them appear far whiter than they did a few months ago.


Some folks who know their gulls better than me got me on this bird....they were calling it a possible Vega Gull. We did see it fly....it had a giant, thick black tail band, which is not a good mark for Vega Gull as far as I know...if anyone has any legit input on this bird, I'd love to hear it.


A pale-eyed second-cycle Thayer's. Not a plumage I see a lot.


A big beefy hybrid of some sort. Herring X Glaucous-winged?


Another awful hybrid. Is this just a super bleached Western X Glaucous-winged? WTF????


Herring (rear) and Thayer's Gulls.


Mew Gulls are a relief to look at compared to everything else, as they are easy to identify.


There have been a lot of gulls down there. It was scary.

10 comments:

  1. I don't know nothin' bout Gulls, but I enjoyed this post despite the clear Gullf in Gull know how.
    That last picture is Hitchcocky. Do you ever worry they'll all rise up and attack?

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    1. When present in such numbers, they attack my brain. There is a high probability that something rare is mixed in, yet finding said rare bird seems like such a daunting task that the thought alone of looking through them all could cause important blood vessels to burst.

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  2. I'd call the first mystery bird, the super-bleached Thayer's preening its tail, a Kumlien's Gull, actually. I don't know why Thayer's Gulls would bleach so much more than any other kind of gull, but if that's a pure Thayer's, then it had to have been bleached from black to almost white, without any corresponding wear. So, maybe a hybrid between Thayer's and Iceland (ie Kumlien's) is more likely.

    The distant "Vega" Gull looks like it might be a Nelson's (Herring X Glaucous), while the big beefy character looks to be a Glaucous X Glaucous-winged. Maybe. I think.

    MB

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    1. Well, with the first bird, it's pretty damn ragged looking, so I would say there is a lot wear. I would estimate I saw about 3 individuals (including that one) that were about that pale...I guess I just have a hard time believing there could be 3-4 Kumlien's/Icelands there at once.

      Nelson's??? Why? No way dude...jet black primaries and dark black tail band.

      I think others are suspecting the same thing for the GLGU X GWGU...

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  3. Awesome! I'm a gull lover myself. That Icelander is a real treat! That last photo looks like gull heaven.

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    1. Tammy, I'm glad you are on The Dark Side as well. Keep an eye out for Kelp Gulls out your way!

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  4. Just when I thought I was on a gull high, you remind me how very little I know! I'll have to take your word for most of these, but it was an enlightening read nonetheless. Someday I may try and step into your world.

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    1. Nicholas, enjoy and bask in Black-headed glory. These big white-headed things are dirty and nasty compared to the wee gulls...you will be dealing with these beasts soon enough.

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  5. I love gulls!! Can't live at the ocean and not like gulls! I don't find them to be particularly easy to ID, though!! I'm getting better at it, however. I love the pink legs and feet of the hybrid.

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  6. I also have some photos of that "big beefy hybrid." I was leaning GLGU x GWGU. Hard to say really.

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