- there's only one primary mirror, and the extent of black
on P8 doesn't look good for Mew Gull....
....that damaged bill has a thick black subterminal band and the eye looks a bit
.... definitely just one (fairly large) mirror, and too much
black for Mew - but there are traces of black in the greater and
median primary coverts, so perhaps this isn't a fully-adult bird.....
So what is this bird - just an odd Ring-Billed Gull? If so, it
is a small, short-legged third-cycle Ring-bill with noticably darker (less
blue-gray) mantle, large tertial crescent (despite heavily worn
feathers), a larger-than-normal P10 mirror and white primary tips,
a blue-gray base to the bill (with same color showing in parts
of the legs), and a blotchy, soft pale brown wash on the upper
breast sides. I wonder if this fits anything else....
Larus canus canus is lighter gray than Mew Gull but
darker than Ring-billed Gull. It has a thicker bill than brachyrhynchus,
a white tail, one or two primary mirrors, a strong tertial crescent,
a blue-gray base to the bill (that is yellowish-tipped and has
a thickish black band), and can have the breast sides suffused
with pale brown blotches, BUT only a small percentage have amber
(or dull yellow) eyes. NOTE: I am not claiming that this
is a nominate Common Gull - if it is one it would be an
unusual example. I have studied tens of thousands of Ring-bills in detail
these past seventeen years; assuming that this is a Ring-bill, it
expands the envelope of my personal experience and as such, is
a valuable lesson. Thanks in advance for any advice tendered.