[CT Birds] Gulls, gulls, gulls and photo request

Comins, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Fri Feb 22 08:04:29 EST 2013

First off, did any folks get photos of that pale first-cycle Herring-type that John found at the Landfill yesterday?  After seeing it fly and seeing that tail band, I'm kicking myself for not taking photos of it.  The reason being is that it pretty much looked just like this:

Second, Mark got some great photos of that bird that has been seen off and on since Friday and previously photographed by me and Keith Mueller.  I'm back to being on the fence of the possibility of Yellow-legged Gull on this one:

It is just so similar in many ways to photos of Azores Yellow-legged Gulls, which are of the subspecies most likely to show up in North America:

And I finally found some photos of a 2nd-cycle hybrid Herring X Lesser, and it looks pretty much like I expected one would look, with much more advanced molt (yes, photos are a month later and this feature is variable), but also there are differences in head streaking and tail pattern as well:
(can scroll through the album and see more photos of the bird).

Quite a few of you got to see the bird before the seminar started, so we'll keep you updated on any feedback we receive, but of course additional photos would be appreciated.  Whatever it is, the bird is pretty cool looking and worthy of additional study, even if we may never know for sure what it is.

No real feedback on our Slaty-backed Gull candidate, but I for one (who is happy to leave things as gull spp, and who doesn't need it for a state list and doesn't really care about lists so much anyway) am just about ready to just call it "the Slaty-backed Gull" and drop the candidate part.    The two folks who have gotten back to us on it have responded with a non-specific exclamation of "wow".    Here is a website that shows several examples of first cycle Slaty-backed Gulls:
Hopefully that bird is still around.


Patrick M. Comins
Director of Bird Conservation

Audubon Connecticut
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury, CT 06488

Phone: (203)264-5098 x308

Fax: (203)264-6332

pcomins at audubon.org
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