Date: 2/1/18 1:34 am From: Robert O'Brien <baro...> Subject: [obol] Armchair Gulling--Sauvie Is. Pellet Plant 1993 redux #2e
Well, no comments on the last few gulls which seem pretty unambiguous Slaty-backs to me, although there is wide variation between them in many aspects. I'm hoping for some comments on this one though, which stretches their variation even more.
Starting with the bill (especially the left-most flight shot)--looks a lot like a Thayer's Gull to me. The bill & bird size seem about right, but the mantle/back sure isn't. The mantle is light compared to the previous SBGUs and note the contrast with the primary tips. Especially note the difference in shade/darkness of the mantle/wings in the left image vs. the other two (these are all the same bird). This is a lighting effect. Not sure at this point but the left and right images may have been taken on different days. The dark feathering around the eye says Slaty-back in all 3 images. and you can slightly make out the dull white eye hiding in there. Also the dark markings a the base of the neck are consistent with other SBGUs posted previously. This is an adult bird.
And what about the gull behind the perched Slaty-back. This could be a California Gull, but the primaries tips aren't nearly dark enough. It could be a Western/Glaucous-winged by the wingtips, but both the bird and the bill are too dainty.
I'm igoing to go with a very small, dainty Slaty-back for the 3 images. One could delve into SGBUxVega Herrring Gull, but that might be stretching it too far, and won't account for the small size anyway and is likely too dark-mantled, unless it could be a back-cross with SBGU. Things can get ugly.
Any ideas out there?
I'm holding off myself on viewing the Japanese SBGU web photos mentioned by Shawneen and Phil for now, trying to relive this epic event of 25 years ago. Eventually I will.