Late March Gulling

Rain during the night, north winds - best case of gulling in Herakleion Harbour!
Although late March there are still wintering birds around. At least 15 individuals of the LBBG complex, including the late staying ringed Baltic one, one or two Heuglin's. Also one 2 cal-y Caspian, and several YLG, two Sandwich Terns and one difficult bird as usual!. The strong wind make photography difficult but I try my best!
The well known male Baltic in summer plumage now!:

From left side one Heuglini (lagre with one white mirror on P10, one intermedius type with large white mirror, one LBBG with still wintering plumage, probably subadult, the ringed Baltic and a YLG:

Close view of the two of the previous birds:

And the "suvadult" LLBB again, maybe a female Heuglin's? :

Two more intermedius type adult birds with larhe white mirrors in both R10-P9:

And another LBBG, beside of the YLG with only a small mirror, different bird than previous with long wings and lighter. Probably another Heuglin's? :

The wind plays with the plumage of this presumed as 2nd cal year Baltic Gull:

Caspian I suppose:
And YLG:

Trying to understand the moulting differences between 1st summer Caspian and YLG:

And finally the difficult one! :

From far away was looking as a big Common Gull. Grey/fleshy legs are also remind Common or LBBG cases. The small dark eye reminds a Caspian but look the dark mantle comparing to YLG. Bill too slender for an Armenian Gull. The clean white head with only few streaks, mainly on hindneck looks strange for western LBBG cases in Mar although can be an advanced one. Moult like a Heuglin's but the bird is smaller than a candidate female of that taxon, the head is rounded and the bill is rather slender. So what?


Nicolas Hoffmann said...

Dear Michalis,

You wrote:
- caspian I suppose: ok
- And YLG: not agree: I think it's a beatifull Caspian on this pic.

dretos said...

Most probably you are right Nicolas! Thank you!

Dominic Mitchell said...

Hi Michalis, just viewed your blog for the first time and really like the gull images. For this bird, like Nicolas it reminds me of Caspian, but surely the upperparts are too dark (darker even than on the adult michahellis behind). Therefore, Steppe Gull barabensis must be a possibility? I have a few of this taxon online at /, and will be uploading more when I get the time. Best wishes from London, Dominic Mitchell