nominate Lesser Black-backed Gull (L. fuscus)

(last update: 29-5-2006)


fuscus 1cy August

fuscus 1cy October

fuscus 2cy February

fuscus 2cy July

fuscus 2cy August

fuscus 3cy February

fuscus 3cy July

fuscus 3cy August

fuscus 4cy July

fuscus 4cy August

fuscus ad June

fuscus ad July

fuscus ad August

(3 images) Larus fuscus fuscus 2cy, February 27-28 2001, Manama harbour, Bahrain.

In all respects a 2cy February Lesser Black-backed Gull. For Baltic Gull (fuscus) this individual looks robust, in jizz approaching graellsii and intermedius, but moult strategy and patterns on the coverts and scapulars are well in line with fuscus. Still, heuglini is difficult to exclude.

Mantle and back second generation as can be seen in the image left. Here, the difference in ground tone of scapulars is obvious: a brownish ground tone in freshly moulted scapulars, bleached white ground tone in scapulars which were moulted first, last autumn. Most of the second generation scapulars show a barred pattern, not unlike the pattern in graellsii and intermedius. Although the typical pattern for second generation feathers is plain dark grey with a broad blackish wedge-shaped shaft, these anchors and barring may be seen in some individuals. Taking into account the severe light conditions in Bahrain, these recently moulted scapulars will bleach quickly and become paler this spring.
Three tertials are missing as can be seen in image 2. The old juvenile tertials show the common pattern: simply a dark brown centre and a narrow white fringe.

Lesser and greater coverts are still juvenile: brown centred with a white fringe. The inner coverts show a notched fringe, the outer coverts show a white fringe of even width. The inner three greater coverts show a different pattern and are probably 2nd generation feathers.
The median coverts are moulting to second generation. As can be seen in image 2, the median covert row show much irregularity and there are some medians missing. Second generation medians are growing in and show a dark centre gradually becoming paler to the edge.

All primaries are still juvenile. In Baltic gull the inner primaries show no pale window. In image 3, the tail is spread. Three central tail-feathers look fresher, moulted recently, and still one of the central tail-feathers might even be growing.

The bill shows some pink at the base.

Showing these pictures at Howard King from Bahrain, he said this kind of plumage is exactly what one might expect of 1cy heuglini in early autumn. Especially the deep chestnut brown tone in the upper- parts can be seen in many juvenile - 1cy heuglini.