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Steppe Gull, Larus barabensis


2nd Calendar Year, February

 Yamuna River, New Delhi, India

 

Though in flight the back on this bird looks pure grey, on the water it was possible to make out dark markings on much of the upperparts feathers.  I did wonder whether this was a retarded second year, but there were several birds around like this and they were the least adult-like of all the birds present that day (around 15-20).  Also the tail, with fine banding, would seem to clearly indicate a first winter bird. This bird was also present at the same site, but has a somewhat different tail pattern.