Category: Waders

01/10/06

Permalink 07:25:53 am, Categories: Waders  
Adrian Drummond-Hill photograhed this gull recently. He is a resident of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia - just across the causeway from Bahrain. I have tentatively identified it as heuglini. The original images plus many more of his great photos can be found by viewing the folder o&b-with_AJ - TAB is above and at top of right column

Norman Vanswelm Norman.vanswelm@wxs.nl has viewed the images and replied with the following
juv/1st winter L.barabensis or as DNA has it L.fuscus barabensis or L.heuglini barabensis. Confused? So you should be. Anyway keep taking the gulls Adrian. It's worth it.

From the resident Gull guru on the Bird forum site where Adrian stores his images we have recieved the following message
-----------
Hi all!

Adrians gull is a fresh juvenile (in standing bird looks as there are some second generation greyish scapulars on top at the end of the lesser coverts) and not a Palla´s Gull, which looks like this:
http://clanga.com/images/full/P1256.JPG
http://clanga.com/images/full/P1249.JPG
http://clanga.com/images/full/P1236.JPG
and not a LBBG (Baltic Gull) due to structure and bill size, compare with these:
http://www.elisanet.fi/antero.lindh...fuscus/tara.htm
and not a Yellow-legged Gull due to underwing pattern and no visible moult in wing coverts (pitty though that we don´t get to see the upperparts and tail pattern more clearly! So, Caspian (eastern), barabensis or heuglini are the choices we have to deal with here I think, which makes it a bit tricky. Identification of these three is a challenge, western Caspian, usually with slenderer bill and smalish looking eye and at this time of year usually with more second generation coverts (we can´t see the upperparts), but some eastern apparently show fully unmoulted juvenile wing to the end of the year. However the palish underwing and axillaries certainly point to Caspian (mainly western type) but some heuglini and barabensis similar.
Heuglin´s Gull is a late moulter, and therefore at this time of year in fresh juvenile plumage, with at most some 1st winter scapulars, although variation has to be considered, and juvenile barabensis (Steppe Gull) together with heuglini (Heuglin´s Gull) is in my oppinion the two main suggestions to this gull. Heuglin´s Gull usually has a rather slender bill (some males rather bigger billed, as the subject gull). The upperwing is similar to LBBG (Baltic), but notice the slightly paler inner primaries, more in line with heuglini compared to Baltic -

Supposed barabensis Oman January:
http://www23.tok2.com/home/jgull/OmanGulls/12b04.JPG
A juv/first winter putative Heuglin´s Gull from Denmark last year:
http://www.birds-of-denmark.dk/sibiriskmaage.htm
The bottom line (although I dare say my gutt feeling say´s heuglini or possible barabensis) Adrian is that there will be no possitive ID on your gull, as you gotten used to by now with large white-headed gull from your area!

The above said is a suggestion, since ID on these are very difficult, sometimes/often impossible due to lack of knowledge.

A real thrill to see your fine images, and of this gull!

JanJ

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