Baltic Gull - Larus fuscus fuscus

On Thursday 25 May 2006 several birders went looking for a probable Heuglin's Gull Larus heuglini at the Erasmusgracht in Amsterdam NH. When checking all the gull over-and-over again some birders (including me) noticed a small first-summer Lesser Black-backed Gull L fuscus graellsii/intermedius with a red ring reading CJC9. We warned Ruud Altenburg - one of the Gull-experts in the Netherlands - and he became very enthousiastic, since he knew all codes and ringing schemes. He immediateley said it must be a Baltic Gull L fuscus fuscus! The bird showed itself very well and was seen by several interested birders the same day and the next day, 26 May 2006.

25 May 2006, Amsterdam-West NH; © Jan van der Laan.

25 May 2006, Amsterdam-West NH; © Jan van der Laan.
Not the best picture, but showing the freshly moulted P1-P4 and juvenile P5-P10.

Ruud Altenburg stated on his site: "CJC9 was ringed as a pullus on 28-06-05 in Pori, Finland. This fuscus has replaced the inner four primaries to second generation feathers (...); also the upper three tertials and the right wing (...) and upper four in the left wing (...) have been replaced, as have all visible median coverts (...) and some inner greater and lesser coverts. The tail, secondaries, outer six primaries, lower tertials and the majority of the visible greater and lesser coverts still are juvenile though. This moult order is identical the first complete moult (here suspended before tail feathers and secondaries were dropped) instead of the usual sequence in first winter graellsi/intermedius (tail > secondaries > primaries). Somewhat unusual as well are the scapulars, which are rather pale and well-patterned for fuscus (especially the rearmost feathers). Perched (when the new primaries are invisible) and without a ring, this bird cannot be separated from intermedius. This possibly is explained by an earlier recovery from 23-02-06, when CJC9 was reported from Anza, Agadir, Morocco, the wintering area of intermedius." (cf Dutch Birding 28 (4): page 259 & 269-270, 2006 and DB 29 (2): 95-97, 2007).
If accepted, this will be the fourth (or sixth) record for the Netherlands. Previous accepted records are from Vlieland, Friesland, on 18 December 2001; from IJmuiden, Noord-Holland, on 20 September 2002; and from West-Kapelle, Zeeland, on 16 October 2004. Two other reports have yet to be submitted, at Beilen, Drenthe, on 20 April 2002 and at Amsterdam (same location as the 2006-bird) on 10 July 2004 (cf Dutch Birding 28 (3): 162-164, 2006).

Now you can go to the main-index, the 2006-index or the next new species, the Baikal Teal?