Iceland Gull photos


Noah Arthur
 

Here's a working link to the Kumlien's Iceland Gull photos from Lake Merritt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529@N02/sets/72157640471162266/  Sorry I couldn't be more detailed about this bird earlier -- I was on my way to a scary math class, which forced me to take a couple hours off from thinking about Iceland Gulls.
 
As soon as I saw this bird from across the gazebo beach, I thought "oh crap that's an Iceland". He instantly took off and disappeared, but came back when I threw bread in the water, and I was able to observe him at close range for ten minutes or so while I waited anxiously for Bob and Juli to arrive.
 
The bill on this bird is very small. Not as tiny as on some Iceland Gulls, but definitely well within the range of variation and smaller than on many or most Thayer's, in my opinion. The primaries are nearly as pale as the rest of the plumage (and the only reason why they aren't as pale is because the rest of the plumage is almost whitish). In the field, this guy was a strikingly WHITISH gull, standing out as very pale even alongside Glaucous-wings. In flight, the tail was pale, about the same color as the primaries (not jarringly dark as I would expect it to be on a bird with faded rather than genuinely pale wingtips).
 
Not as easy as an adult, but I'm convinced this 2nd-cycle bird is an Iceland -- even if it's the same one that caused so much disagreement last month. I'm still interested to hear any reasons why this isn't an Iceland, though.
 
Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA

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