Lesser Black-backed Gull L f graellsii
© Chris Gibbins, 07-02-06. Tarragona, Spain.
Orange ZK, a Dutch bird from Moerdijk (51.41 N, 04.36 E), photographed here in NE Spain where it spent most of the winter. All scapulars have been replaced and show interesting pattern: rather pale grey feathers with reduced markings. In most feathers, the markings are reduced to a shaft streak. By the time this bird returns north, the scapulars may look similar to this advanced Dutch graellsii. All tertials and wing coverts still are juvenile. This is a strongly built bird (a male?) with a large head and powerful bill. The jizz is much closer to Yellow-legged Gull L michahellis than to Caspian Gull L cachinnans, to which Heuglin's Gull often is compared. Although in summer the worn second generation scapulars may resemble those of Heuglin's Gull, the jizz means that it is unlikely to cause real confusion.