nr. Thurso, Caithness
Chris Griffin has been in touch. he’s up near Thurso in Caithness (northernmost Scotland) and has seemingly not one, but TWO 1st winter Kumlien’s Gulls. Clearly there are a few about this winter,so here are his photos, taken today. Plus a bullet point summary of key features helpful in identifying first winter Kumlien’s Gulls.
Key Features of juvenile/ 1st winter Kumlien’s Gulls
- outer primary pattern of an identifiable vagrant first-winter kumlieni is of a variable brown wash centred on the primary shaft, spreading onto both webs and extending almost to the feather tips. It is most commonly plain, not ‘mealy’ or spotted, although many show a small subapical mark.
- an earlier moult for some mantle and upper scapular feathers (sometimes from Oct/Nov)
- a darker bill in mid-winter,
- a more distinct [plain] tail band
- more contrast between the outer (darker) and inner (paler) primaries in flight on the more distinct individuals