Update Jan 07 2007: new pics from today added at bottom of page:
This gull was photographed on January 04, 2007 in the Coastal Plain near Houston and Galveston:
At first I wondered if the Iceland Gull I'd found two weeks ago had returned...:
- but a closer look showed it to be a different bird, with a little bit more pigment in the primary tips and elsewhere, but maybe still okay for kumlieni?..:
However the flight views showed a contrastingly darker band on the secondaries (albeit not very dark):
- and a better look at the standing bird showed that the bases to the primaries were a bit darker than I'd first thought, and that the upperparts were too blotchy for a typical kumlieni:
So, is this within the range of variation for what are called Iceland Gulls in the N.E.? If, not, it is so pale that it can't be a pure thayeri, can it? So perhaps this is a thayeri/kumlieni intergrade or hybrid.
Update Jan 07 2007: new pics: NOTE: the Jan 04 pics were taken when the bird was wet; today's pics of the dry bird seem paler (to me):