fredag 28. september 2012

Caspian gulls from Sweden part II

We continue with our presentation of caspian gulls seen in Scania, Sweden 14th of september. This day was spent checking harbours for gulls since strong southerly gales put an effective stop to our main purpose for our trip to Sweden - the famous migration of raptors at Falsterbo. As usual, we've put in a lot of photos to show the different individuals in as many situations as possible...This time we start with long distance photos of a rather dark 1cy. The variation exhibited by this taxon is really bewildering and almost matches argentatus...All photos in this entry were taken in Skillinge, south east Scania. Click on photos for larger versions.

 Here, a single photo of a large male that gave great black backed gulls a tough match for food. A bit "fishy" perhaps?..

Then these three birds where standing side by side. Three is about the total number seen in Norway annually...From left to right: ad (or near ad = 4cy+), 3cy and 1 cy. The 1cy is a bit darker than the typical 1cy CG, so we've added quite a few photos of the bird...In our opinion it's within the variation of CG, but maybe a hybrid cannot be excluded? Comments are welcome.

Here are photos of the underwing

Note the strongly marked breast and flanks



Nothing to worry about with the next one, though...

Here are a few photos of the 4cy+. Note that the iris, on a closer look, is really amber, not brown or black. Note very typical body shape and stance. The "back line" - from wing tip to nape - forms an almost straight line, like it was made with a ruler...

 As usual, when you see a caspian gull next to a herring gull, you are struck by how much whiter the caspian seem to be, and it's not just the head. Note also difference in leg length, especially above the tibia. Pale yellowish legs seem to be common in this age group and note also the greenish bill.

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