Hybrid Gulls and Freaks ~ California ~ Feb' 15

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Hybridisation occurs between two separate species when the breeding range overlaps and the resulting offspring show traits of mixed parentage ..

Three of the species that winter on the west coast of California are Glaucous-winged, American Herring and Western all hydridise, and add to that a couple of other crosses like GWG x Slaty-backed or GWG x Glaucous and the identification of pure birds just got much more difficult ...

The following birds are all presumed hybrids, due to odd features for pure birds. 


Glaucous-winged x American Herring


GWG x AHG ~ Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay - 16.02.15

Slaty not black primaries
Restricted dark to outer primaries
Mirror only to P10
No dark mark on P5
Bulbous tip to bill
Diffused head & neck streaking


 Glaucous-winged x American Herring

GWG x AHG ~ Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay - 19.02.15

Slaty not black primaries
Diffused head & neck streaking


Glaucous-winged x American Herring


GWG x AHG ~ Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay - 19.02.15


Primaries dark brown
Tertials edged with white notches
Bill & head shape
Covert markings


Glaucous-winged x Western

GWG x WES ~ Salmon Creek - 17.02.15

GWG type barring to head and neck
Slaty black primaries
Bulbous bill



American Herring x Western

AHG x WES ~ Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay - 19.02.15

Dark iris
Bulbous tipped bill
Diffused head and neck streaking
Mantle shade 


American Herring x Western

AHG x WES ~ Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay - 16.02.15


Small rounded head shape
Diffused head and neck streaking
Slightly bulbous tipped bill
Mantle shade


American Herring x Western


AHG x WES ~ Alice Keck Park, Santa Barbara - 21.02.15


This is a freaky looking bird ..
Odd banding through tail and secondaries
Body shape suggests AHG 
Overall markings suggests mixed genes.

Pure, hybrids & freaks ...
I enjoy them all ..






American Herring Gulls ~ smithsonianus ~ California ~ Feb' 15

Monday, 23 March 2015

American Herring Gulls
~~~~
Larus smithsonianus


A small collection of birds from all age groups were seen at various locations.
The numbers increased at each site the further North we travelled ..
It would of been nice to of gained flight images of some to compliment the text book side-on's but with non stop action I got distracted easily by other gulls !!

Some are 'Classic' looking birds ...
Some are 'Beauties' ...
Others are purely Top Shelf !!   


1st. Winter

Santa Barbara Beach ~ 15.02.15


 Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay ~ 16.02.15
' Top Shelf bird '


Salmon Creek ~ 17.02.15


Russian River, Jenner ~ 18.02.15


Lake Merritt, Oakland ~ 19.02.15


Alice Keck Park, Santa Barbara ~ 21.02.15


Alice Keck Park, Santa Barbara ~ 21.02.15



2nd. Winter


Salmon Creek ~ 17.02.15



Russian River, Jenner ~ 17.02.15



Russian River, Jenner ~ 17.02.15



Russian River, Jenner ~ 18.02.15


3rd. Winter ?


Russian River, Jenner ~ 18.02.15


Adults




Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay ~ 16.02.15



Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay ~ 16.02.15


Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay ~ 16.02.15
Mantle seems a shade to dark, with a odd looking head
Possible Western genes ?



Salmon Creek ~ 17.02.15


Salmon Creek ~ 17.02.15

Same bird as above standing image

Solid mark on P5, No mirrors on P9
Left wing tiny dot mirror on P10
Right wing mirror to inner web on P10

A west coast pattern but whats the % of this compared to mirrors on P9 & P10 ?





Salmon Creek ~ 17.02.15



Salmon Creek ~ 17.02.15
An absolutely stunning bird




Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay ~ 19.02.15



Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay ~ 19.02.15



Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay ~ 19.02.15



Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay ~ 19.02.15



I want to go back and do it again !!








Heerman's Gulls ~ Santa Barbara, California - Feb' 15

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

This elegant dark medium sized gull of Baja California, yet in winter they spread along the west coast, and was the target for the first and last days of the trip ...

Santa Barbara held 40+ birds, with only two birds further north at Venice Beach, Half Moon Bay ..

Heerman's Gull ~ 1st. W






2nd. W





3rd. W





Adult



Pair bonding displaying to each other ..


Adult winter plumage 


Adult summer plumage


Normally I prefer the immature birds to the adults but with Heerman's its the reverse the adults are superb ...

Caspian Gull ~ 1st. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 15.03.15

Sunday, 15 March 2015

With limited visits to Dungeness this year its not surprising that this bird brings my tally of casps to only 2 ...

But a beast of a bird it is !!

Caspian Gull ~ 1st. W


Trying hard to blend in and not be noticed !!


There's one image that i would love to capture, a clean, uncluttered 'Albatross pose'