Sunday, 5 February 2012

Kumlien's Gull - Hartlepool Headland

Just a quick blog post pointing out some of the features as to why many (including myself) believe this bird to be a Kumlien's Gull. I have learnt loads about Kumlien's Gull ID just through this bird, very educational indeed! So here are a few shots with some details underneath each photo as to why the bird has been ID'd as a Kumlien's Gull.

(Kumlien's Gull - © John Bridges)
Nice photo showing the blotchy breast and neck sides this bird has making it quite a handsome bird. The outer primaries show the greyish wash here, showing the feature is evident even in strong sunlight.

(Kumlien's Gull - © John Bridges)
P9, P8, and P7 showing that greyish was nicely here. Also the remnants of a tail band can also be seen here in this shot. 

(Kumlien's Gull - © John Bridges)
Greyish wash to the primaries can be seen here in this above photo. 

(Kumlien's Gull -  © Mark Newsome)
I've added some annotations onto this wing shot image taken my Mark.

Very educational bird and the sort of bird I really enjoy...a nice challenge. Now if best go off and brush up more on my Yellow-legged Gull ID which is pretty atrocious at the moment

Until next time, Foghorn out!


  1. Hi Andrew,

    That looks very good for a third winter Kum's I've got to agree; in the second pic the brownish/grey tinge to the outer primaries (P7-P9 in particularly as you've pointed out) are apparent on the right wing. I personally find brown markings on the outer prims of these birds more reliable for ID; depending on light in photos darkness of the primaries can vary which can make the outer prims look greyer than they actually are (as I've noticed in a few of my pics). This bird looks remarkably similar to a 4th winter/sub-adult Kum's that's up at Peterhead atm (although the Peterhead bird's bill is more developed due to its age) which I photographed yesterday which can be seen on my blog:

    Hope that is of interest. What a winter its been for white-wingers; such beauties aren't they, you've got to love them! Nice to see your blog is still going on strong mate, even though I've moved website I'll continue to read this and have linked your blog in mine.



    1. Hi Joseph,

      I think most people are in agreement and happy that this bird is a Kumlien's Gull, it is showing all features consistent with a bird of this age (3rd winter). The tail band (although not mentioned alot here) is a very good indicator. White-winged Gulls have always fascinated me as have gulls since I was a child, for some strange reason I was always fascinated with large white headed gulls. Some cracking shots on your blog, sadly a lot of my shots are under exposed but I just worked with what I got...these shots are far better.

      Take care,