Thayers Gull, Juvenile: Roberts Lake Park, Monterey, California, USA - 24th November 2009
(same bird in the following two images)
Note the broad whitish edges to the juvenile scapulars and white ground colour to the wing coverts along with the prominent white tips to the milky tertials and the whitish tips and fringes to the pale primaries give the bird an overall 'frosty' appearance.

The size and jizz of the bird rules out American Herring Gull; small, slender mostly dark bill, smallish round head, slender body and quite long wing impression.

The pattern on the primaries is typical Thayers Gull.

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Thayer's Gull - Larus thayerii
Juvenile


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Thayers Gull, Juvenile: Goat Rock Beach, Jenner, California, USA - 28th November 2009
(above and all following images relate to the same bird)
The minute this bird landed in front of me at Goat Rock Beach, Jenner my instant response was Thayer's Gull. I then managed to talk myself in and out of the identification several times but I can't really see anything that would not make it a Thayer's Gull.

The head is small and rounded, the bill slender and dark, the plumage is uniformly plain brown and the scapulars have broad pale fringes creating a checkered upper-part appearance. Unlike the previous bird greater coverts are more solid with finer barring and the tertials show less bold patterning.

The primaries are distinctly darker than the wing coverts and the tail can be seen to pretty much wholly dark. On a whole the bird did not have an American Herring Gull feel to it, it was also smaller than that species and closer or the same size as some of the nearby California Gulls.
Thayers Gull, Juvenile: Goat Rock Beach, Jenner, California, USA - 28th November 2009

Perhaps the image above better illustrates the small rounded head and slender all dark bill along with the scapular pattern. The tertials are dark brown with neat pale notched fringes whilst the tail is all dark brown with the exception of the bases of the outer rectrices and the tip.

The greater coverts are more solid on the outers creating a darker wedge on the wing.
Thayers Gull, Juvenile: Goat Rock Beach, Jenner, California, USA - 28th November 2009

The slightly 'frosty' upper-parts is more apparent here, broad whitish fringes to the scapulars. The overall appearance of the bird is milky brown and rather small for a large gull.
Thayers Gull, Juvenile: Goat Rock Beach, Jenner, California, USA - 28th November 2009

In flight the bird again attains a slender appearance whilst the patterning on the outer primaries seems to fit with that known for Thayers Gulls of this age; pale inner webs, darker outer webs culminating in a darker feather tip, the so called Venetian blind effect.

The whole upper-wing patter is clearly visibler ;
- Primaries, as noted above
- Secondaries dark with pale fringes
- Greater coverts mostly uniformly dark plain brown with the inners becoming only slightly more patterned
- Greater primary dark with outer webs a little darker than the inner webs
- Fairly well patterned median coverts

The tail is all dark brown though with pale bases at the corners and at the extreme tip. Also note the heavily barred upper-tail coverts.

The above image especially looks small headed and slender billed.