Although boring to some people, gull watching is a fascinating challenge to me, and one that I am far from mastering. It involves sifting through countless subtle features such as mantle colour, shade of the legs, amount of black on the wings and overall size and shape, so much of which is dependent on the conditions available.
If you were sorting through the countless Herring Gulls on this breakwater you might miss the adult Glaucous Gull sitting at the back of the photo below. But looking closely you can see it is actually quite a bit larger, has a slightly paler mantle and just looks a bit cleaner than the others. If you could see the wing tips it would help, since this species has pale wingtips. It is like a giant game of "Where is Waldo", and I loved those books when I was a kid!
|Glaucous Gull- back middle|
|Iceland Gull on the left sits with a few Herring Gulls|
|Iceland Gull in flight, note those clean wingtips.|