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Thread: An ID Challenge for Wessel

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Default An ID Challenge for Wessel

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    Hi Wessel and all,

    Here is a tough ID challenge. This first winter gull was photographed in mid-February in Rausu, Japan, a melting pot for a great variety of gull species and hybrids.
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  2. #2
    Wessel Slob
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    Hi Arthur, The snowy brightness around the featured gull did not contribute to an easy identification, it is an awesome image though!
    This is indeed a first cycle gull, these large brown ones require ageing first. Considering the anchor markings on mantle and scapulars, pale edged tertials, predominantly white
    greater coverts, white head, particularly behind the ear coverts this image matches Vega Gull / Larus vegae.
    A confusion species might be Caspian Gull / Larus cachinnans ssp mongolicus, but this gull lacks the "gonys" on its lower mandible.

    Greetings, Wessel

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Thanks Wessel. I posted this image to a big shot gull ID site and opinions were widely varied but some did mention Vega and Mongolicus. So I am already impressed by your knowledge.

    While remembering that I am no expert at gull ID, I would ask, is there anything here the rules out a lighter than usual first cycle Slaty-backed Gull? a
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions; we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

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  4. #4
    Wessel Slob
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    Hi Arthur, I am sorry for having kept you waiting. I kind of sympathize with your suggestion first cycle Slaty-backed Gull, but still..
    The anchor marks are very well visible and fit Vega Gull. In my view this is a distinctive key ID feature. Perhaps you might have shot another image to have a close look at of the same bird, in flight for example?
    I can vividly imagine that opinions vary on this one this one.

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    No worries and thanks Wessel. No flight images as we head to head to a great ramen noodle spot :) a
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions; we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

    Check out the great new SONY e-Guide and videos that I did with Patrick Sparkman here. Ten percent discount for BPN members,

    E-mail me at samandmayasgrandpa@att.net.










  6. #6
    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    ps: the funny thing is that I have never seen anything that caught my attention that looked like any type of Herring Gull...
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions; we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

    Check out the great new SONY e-Guide and videos that I did with Patrick Sparkman here. Ten percent discount for BPN members,

    E-mail me at samandmayasgrandpa@att.net.










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