Probable Iceland Gull at Moss Landing
- Hi All,
On Tuesday, Jan 1, I found a gull on the Moss landing CBC that I believe is an Iceland Gull. Other birders looked for the bird on Wednesday and could not find it. It might still be around. The gulls techd to roost in the harbor during falling tides and in the evening. I saw the bird in the evening.
The photos of the gull seen in Moss Landing Harbor at the end of Jetty Road on New Year's Day can be found on my flicker page at
I am not sure about the age of the bird. When I first looked at the bird I felt confident it was a juvenile based on the plumage - very neat and finely speckled. Then, I thought it might be a second cycle when I noticed how much pale the bill had. Then I was shown some photos in a Birds of Northern Europe App that had pale bills with dark tips in Iceland Gulls as juveniles. Then I noticed Sibley had juveniles drawn with dark bills. Howell says Iceland Gull bills become paler faster than Kumlein's.......... You see where this is going. Although I don't think there would be a problem with this being a Glaucous or a hybrid gull, there is some possibility of it being a very pale Kumlein's and not a nominate Iceland. The primaries do have a very faint brownish wash in the centers of the outer primaries - but only notciable if you look for it. The bird is fresh and not bleached out.
I'm still looking at books and welcome other opinions. The bird has a high resemblance to photograph 35B.7 in Howell and Dunn which is identified as a second cycle Iceland Gull which was the same individual that was identified as a a first cycle in by Malling Olsen (2003) photo 247.