Monday, 16 February 2009

More on Armenian Gull (click on images to view)

Click on images to see the birds: Top to bottom: 1st winter, 1st winter, adult and 1st winter, 2nd winter, 2nd winter, 3rd win, 3rd win and 2nd winter, 2nd winters and mainly 1st winter mixed flock.

This adult bird shows a pretty distinctive wing formula which is typical of Armenian Gull (Malling Olsen and Larsson pg 26 and pg 300-307). Only one mirror on p10 and black extending all the way to the primary greater coverts on p10-p9 (p8) ((p7?)) on atleast the outer webs (outers and inners on p10-p9 (p8?). This produces a 'step' in the black on the wing- from p8/p7 onwards. The black on the remaining primaries also extends to p4 and sometimes p3. To me that is quite a distinctive and arresting wing pattern. Combined with the size (smaller than Yellow-legged), the dark eye in adult plumage, the four coloured bill (pale tip, red gonys, black ring and yellow basal section) and the relatively dark upperparts- this is pretty distinctive gull (most similar to 'Steppe Gull'). There are suspected recent (last few days/weeks) claims of this 'species' in both France and Italy.

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