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This gull was photographed at Corpus Christi Landfill on March 04, 2004 by Martin Reid; it caught my eye due to the mantle being slightly darker than typical smithsonianus HERG, and the apparent reduced amount of black in the primaries of the folded wing compared to smith.:

also, the pattern of winter markings on the head was striking: a narrow, well-defined rear-neck shawl of blurry dark brown, with finer, more-sparse streaking on the nape and crown, and (barely) on the sides of the upper breast - it reminded me of a Mew Gull's pattern more than a HERG:

The wingtip pattern above and below is classic for vegae, with the reduced amount of black in Ps 10-5 plus white subterminal spots from P5 to P9 forming a "string of pearls" effect. Note in the pic above that on the near wing, P9 is misplaced over (and covering) P8 - only the apical tip and extreme basal shaft of P8 are visible.

the face pattern was also quite unusual, in that there was a rather clean divide on the lower auricular between dense smudging above and clean white below, plus the area below the eye had a darker smudge plus a Velvet-Scoter-like white "comma" immediately below/back of the eye. I could not discern the orbital ring color in the field, but these images below seem to indicate that it is a dark color, with some red tones - compare it to the adult LBBG (which has a red orbital ring) image taken moments before, sandwiched between two pics of this bird:-

The iris is quite pale, but does seem to have some dark speckling:

For comparison, look at these vegae from Japan:-
http://www23.tok2.com/home/jgull/020408/Vega.html - esp. the pale-eyed bird (4th image.)

http://www.surfbirds.com/ID%20Articles/JapanGulls/index.html - an extensive Id article with photos and morphological statistics.