Monday, November 2, 2009

Gull leftovers

Some leftovers from yesterday's birding at Ashdod. These are two gulls that really puzzled me, and after some homework and consulting other experts (thanks Amir!) I have a better idea of what they are.
This first gull is a Steppe Gull (Larus barabensis) - note especially the tricoloured bill, the small eye, the prominent gonys, and black tongues up to P4 - all good features for this taxon.

This second gull is a very difficult one, but the concensus is that it is a Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus intermedius) from a population originating in N Norway. This is a 3rd-winter bird. Note the very pale eye, typical mantle colour and heavily streaked head and neck.

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