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Lesser Black-backed Gull - molt and subspecies question.

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  • Lesser Black-backed Gull - molt and subspecies question.

    This year on Texas Upper Coast a small army of Lesser Black-backed Gulls arrived. Only on one small island, Quintana, I counted about 36 LBBG on September 22.

    I had opportunity to photograph many LBBG of all ages during this month and I will work on collected photographs soon. In meantime knowing that this forum is visited by several gull experts I would like to check a few things. I am including 2 sets of composite photos showing one specimen that came to wintering ground with P1 and P2 new; P3 & P4 growing; P5 & P6 shed; P7-P10 old; and still quite white head and neck. After exactly 21 days S1 is growing, P1-P4 new; P5 & P6 growing; P7 shed; P8-P10 old; head and neck quite streaked. There is a lot of discussions about what subspecies are showing now on Texas shore. This particular bird has still outmost old primaries in good condition. I see quite large mirror on P10 and a tiny mirror on P9 (Howell and Dunn has photo 27.23 showing this in graellsii). Also P4 has a small black spot on the edge of outer web (I failed to find a good photo of spot similar to that one). I would appreciate any comments (and correction if I got something wrong) that can be useful with identifying LBBG subspecies during molt on wintering ground.

    Photos - molt progress in 21 days

    Wing molt

    Head & neck molt

    Thanks in advance,


    P.S. I am quite new in observing molt process and I never spend too much time with gulls (well, except now) so please by gentle if I do not know some obvious things.