1st winter glaucoides/kumlieni
by Martin G
Lovely weekend with my family in Bridlington, East Yorkshire with no real expectation of much birding- just walks, board games and time together. Visiting Bridlington harbour with Mrs G. yesterday (13th Jan) we walked down the slipway onto south beach and I took a moment to watch and photograph some Purple Sandpipers. Turning to join Sharon I walked straight into this 1st winter Iceland Gull.
Notably it has the kind of wing-tip pattern at rest which, in the 1990’s, I would have called a Kumliens’ Gull – with a plain brown wash over the centre of the outer primaries. I am more cautious now. The ideal pattern is of the outer 5+ primaries with dark outer webs and pale inner webs and a dark ‘hook-back’ at the wing-tips. These outer primaries contrast with less well marked paler inner primaries. A ghost pattern of 1st winter Thayer’s Gull. This bird hasn’t got that. It does however also have a very plain tail pattern (hardly any internal markings) and appears to have moulted some upper mantle and scapular feathers- not easy to tell on these paler feathers. Plainer tail and earlier moult can be kumlieni characters.
So I don’t know. It could be a Kumlien’s Gull. For me it’s the uncertain zone at present. We need to learn more about both glaucoides and kumlieni. But if you are in the area, I think an interesting bird to see. Apparently it has been around on this stretch of coast for a little while- though others will know more?
and the Purple Sandpipers are lovely!