A large number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Photo Study

On Sunday I traveled along the beaches from Quintana all the way to Galveston studying the large numbers of gulls, while I didn’t come across anything unusual I observed a large number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (approx. 35-40 in total). The vast majority of birds were encountered along the Quintana Beach with up to five present in one flock. I tried to photograph as many as possible, each standing and flying. Some, especially 5-6 across the pass at the western end of Quintana were out of reach, but individuals of all ages still provided good study opportunities. I also added one last gull that I am fairly sure is a Herring, but the small bill and rounded head make me wonder a bit. Hope you enjoy.

1 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 1 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 2 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 3 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 3 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 4 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 4 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 5 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 6 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 7 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 7 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 8 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 9 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 9 Photo Stephan Lorenz

LBBG 10 Photo Stephan Lorenz

Herring Gull? Photo Stephan Lorenz

 

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jim Cluck on January 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Thank you so much for the photo study. Studies like these really help those of us eager to learn.

    Reply

  2. Dear Stephan,
    Thanks for providing us with a nice set of LBBG images from the central Texas coast.
    Firstly the bottom image is a smith Herring Gull; I see no problems with it for that taxon.
    Next, the most interesting LBBG-type is LBBG2 – the rather pale-mantled 3rd-cycle bird. The mantle looks to be too pale for a pure LBBG – more like that of an Azorean YLGU or a LBBGxHERG hybrid; from this one image I’d lean towards the latter explanation…
    next I am struck by the fact that all of these LBBG-types seem to have completed their primary moult. A few years ago I noticed that on the Upper TX coast we were getting birds that were very late in finishing the P-moult; see this page:
    http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp67.html
    – just one of at least FOUR similar bird on that one day.
    I had expected this late moult to become more regular, as I feel it’s a derivative of a longer migration path.
    Lastly I think LBBG7 and LBBG10 could be the same bird, and again the mantle shade is very pale; I’d like to see it next to a Laughing Gull…
    All the best,
    Martin

    Reply

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