I was searching through Jeff Poklen's gull page for Glaucous-winged Gulls (from California). He's a gull master, with an awesome freakin collection of photos. Anyways - I was looking for 2nd basic/2nd cycle individuals that looked like my 2009 bird (per say).
There's virtually no good photos of birds this age a few months later in summer, but they provide a basis point for what I *think* my bird looked like prior to the summer wear/bleaching... Some pics -
MORE - http://www.coastside.net/chucao/gulls/Glaucous-winged.htm#SECOND
While researching dozens of ugly freakin gulls over the years, I've discovered that you can pretty much find an oddball example of just about any species that would/could match some other species/hybrid quite well... Know what I'm finding in this case? That birds that look the ones above are the NORM - not the oddball/exceptions... A few more:
(methinks this is just a bleached GWGU and not a hybrid)
Here's a bleached/claimed Glaucous-winged from the summer in CALI - but I think it looks pretty darkish given all the bleaching (Olympic Gull?) -
Which I think would be a pretty good case/example of why you could eliminate Western and Herring hybrids from the waterdown bird...
THE TROUBLE -
Presumed Glaucous X Glaucous-winged Gulls - many/most of these look like they have a pretty clear dose of Glaucous in them:
2nd yr - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15686195
2nd yr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/marlinharms/6738627267/
2nd yr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/oceanites/346163146/in/photostream/ (oh god)...
1st yr - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S10412333
1st yr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/7202050@N04/8482366111/
1st yr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/johngarrettbirding/8417156741/
1st yr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/johngarrettbirding/8416103142/
1st yr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/rjm284/8430855912/
1st yr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/johngarrettbirding/8415007485/
It's hard to find photos of these hybrids in their "second cycle" - heck, it's hard to identify them at all.... I think some of these "examples" may have been miss ID'd too - but who the heck am I to judge??? I thought I had a few over my days on the boat...
I pretty much figured either Glaucous-winged Gull is highly variable - or it is a genetic mishmash of every gull species that occurs in the pacific NW with virtually no pure birds left alive... (ok maybe I'm exaggerating)
GWGUxGlaucous hybrids will be the focus of more study and probably a future blog post -whenever I get to it!
Gawd damn -