Never ending story

Adult Iceland Gull

Yann Kolbeinsson sent me this messange on facebook:

“409 Iceland Gulls in my harbour now – always nice to get some NE winds with bad weather ;)”

Pale adult Kumlien's Gull

So there seem to be a lot of Iceland Gulls in Húsavík in Iceland. This is also obvious in Klaksvík, where a stunning 250 Iceland Gulls were present today – they were all over the harbour. At least 15 were easily identified as Kumlien’s Gulls, but there could easily be many more. And once more it seems like the brownies arrive simultaneously with the Kumlien’s Gulls. This could indicate another origin than the classic glaucoides Iceland Gulls.

Brown 2w - the pattern seemed to fit ssp. kumlieni nicely on this individual

A lot has been said about the thayeri/kumlieni/glaucoides – complex – and surely it is complex to such a degree that it really is crucial that proper studies are conducted within their normal breeding ranges.

Well-marked adult Kumlien's Gull

Unless we find some ringed birds it is impossible to answer these annoying questions:

Do the birds breeding in Greenland sometimes show dark markings on the primaries?

Do Kumlien’s Gulls in fact breed regularly in Greenland (a few breeding birds have been seen)?

Or can we say that birds with dark markings do come from the Baffin Island area?

And should the birds be labeled as species, subspecies, a continuum of variation within a single species or maybe something else?

Or have we finally found the much “talked-about” SEA GULL?

Adult Iceland Gull without markings on the primaries, but with a very dark iris not typical of ssp. glaucoides.

4w probable Kumlien's Gull.

Dark 1w Kumlien's or Iceland Gull

SiO

 

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