Herring Gull- Zilvermeeuw (argentatus & argenteus)
Herring Gull plumages:
hg sub-ad January
(2 images) Herring Gull H-105381 3cy (argenteus), June 13 2002, Boulogne/Mer, France (50.42N,1.34E).
This 3cy argenteus was ringed as pullus on June 16 2000 at Zeebrugge, Belgium (51.20N 03.11E): Bruxelles H-105381. It shows the ordinary features for argenteus in June: The scapulars create an all-grey saddle. It strongly contrasts with the old faded brown-white chequered wing-coverts and dark centred tertials. The second generation outer primaries are bleached brown without white tips and lack a mirror on P10. The second generation tail has a broad dark tail-band.
3cy argenteus has a partial moult in spring. It starts in January and is completed by April, leaving birds in so-called "second summer" plumage. By May, the head is white, especially on throat, breast and belly. The iris and base of the bill turn pale yellow, although some individuals show a warm amber iris. The bill shows some red on the gonydeal angle and it still shows an obvious dark bill-band.
From June to October, a complete moult
will bring birds in so-called "third winter" plumage. In summer,
the head is still largely white, but after the complete moult is finished,
the head shows extensive 'winter streaking', mottled brown contrasting
with the white breast as in an executioner's hood. The scapulars and
mantle are pale adult-like grey, although some lower scapulars may show an
pale brown hue.
This individual included the two upper tertials and some wing-coverts in the partial moult last autumn. One central median covert stands out as an all grey feather. The primary moult stage: P1-P3 are missing, P4-P10 are old second generation flight-feathers. Note the bill colour.