2nd winter

Here come some shots of 2nd winter birds from above.

Pale bird with faint pale ghostly pattern on the primaries and on the tail - seeing these ghostly patterns is very much dependent on the light and the angle in which the bird is seen. This is probably the palest ssp. kumlieni possible to identify. And when watching 50 or 100 Iceland Gulls in a flock many of these pale birds just go by as glaucoides.

Less pale than the bird above but it has the same less patterns on the primaries and the tail. Again I'd say a pale kumlieni.

Dark Kumien's Gull with very obvious dark markings on the primaries and the tail. The ghost is gone and these birds are easy to spot even when you have a flock of 100 Iceland Gulls.

Another dark brownish and heavy Kumlien's Gull with obvious dark pattern on the primaries.

Pale bird with a dark tail but no visible ghostly markings on the primaries. Furthermore the iris is pale. I would call this one a glaucoides.

Pale bird without any markings on the primaries. Again a glaucoides that is a bit more advanced than the bird above.

A bird with dark iris, rather dark tail and very faint markings on the primaries. I wouldn't label this bird as kumlieni or glaucoides - I can't be sure which one it is.

A dark

Almost like the bird above, but the iris is darker and the markings on the primaries is just a little more visible - thus a kumlieni.

Pale bird without obvious dark tail. But it looks like there are some very ghostly markings on the primaries. But it is less advanced than most other second winter birds now, so I don't think the markings are a sign of kumlieni.

A medium dark bird with rather dark tail and faint ghostly patterns on the primaries. But the iris is pale. But in spite of this the primaries should indicate ssp. kumlieni.

It is not easy to get an accurate number of Kumlien's Gulls with so many Iceland Gulls present at once and the differences being so subtle.


3 comments on “2nd winter

  1. Hi,
    Since you’ve been more than spoiled with Kumlien’s Gulls recently, and are therefor one of the more experienced observers in Europe right now, I would kindly ask you for your opinion on the birds I saw this weekend in the Netherlands. Ugly pictures, I know, but what’s your feeling about the two possible Kumlien’s?
    Pics can be found on my website: http://www.pbase.com/martijnbot/recent
    Thanks in advance!

    • birdingfaroes says:

      Hi Martijn

      Congrats on your white-winged gulls! Yes, the invasion is extreme – not even the old fishermen on the Faroes who have been around for 70 years have ever seen so many Iceland Gulls in the harbours.

      The first of your gulls, the pale 2. winter, is a kumlien’s gull for sure. The bird shows a obvious dark tail and shows obvious dark markings on the primaries. Furhtermore it look heavy – so if I saw this one on the Faroes I’d call it an obvious kumlieni, but a pale one.

      The second bird is much more difficult due to the image quality. It is hard even to determain whether it is a first or second winter. The over all impression tells it is a first winter: It is very dark and more than half the bill looks dark. Personally I think the dark first winter birds are the most difficult to identify properly. It looks like there is some dark ghostly patterns on the primaries of your bird, but they do not stand out as obviously darker then the birds colour over all.

      My guess is that the bird in fact is a kumlieni, but on the other hand I would not dare to call it a kumlieni for sure based on the pictures alone.



      • Thanks for your very quick response, and please keep on posting pics of your gulls on this site, no matter how long the invasion lasts! This is a unique possibility to learn a lot about the variety in white-winged gulls, and your site has proven to be very useful on this matter so far.
        Keep up the good work and thanks again!

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