[CT Birds] Today's Long Beach gulls...Patrick's Gull.
PCOMINS at audubon.org
Fri Apr 19 18:20:12 EDT 2013
In addition to the previously mentioned "mystery" gull, Donna C.'s Mr. Long Beach, the big white Iclandy Gull thing and a regular first cycle Iceland Gull were at Long Beach.
I'm pretty sure the dark mantled gull was a hybrid Herring X Lesser Black-backed Gull. I'm going to start calling them Patrick's Gull. I've always wanted a gull named after me and I don't think there is an official name for this hybrid combination yet.
A bit of a back story. I think I found one of the first examples of these in North America in March, 1999. First videotaped and then photographed over the next two days. In December of that year, David Sibley and Chris Elphick joined me for the last CBC at the Manchester Landfill while it was a gull haven. We relocated a bird that I had found a few days earlier and Chris and David (as i recall) agreed on the id as likely Herring X Lesser Black-backed. We submitted it as such, but the record was rejected by the regional compiler because (as I recall) that hybrid combination had yet to be proven to occur in North America. Subsequent to that time, hybridization has been documented at Appledore Island and several suspected individuals have been seen in North America.
In February, 2013, I found a second cycle bird that I called a possible Yellow-legged Gull (and still think it may be), in the end it was thought that a hybrid could not be ruled out. Mark Szantyr dubbed it "Patrick's Gull". Maybe I've earned the right to name them and take Mark's suggestion and call these buggers Patrick's Gulls.
In any case, here are some photos of the bird from Stratford today (along with some of the Feb bird mixed in). I will eventually add to this album some of the other candidates I've photographed over the years.
Photos of today's birds are from 46-54 in the album (not sure why they were placed in the middle of the older photos). You should be able to view them even if you don't have a Facebook account:
Now on to the photos of Donna's gull.
Patrick M. Comins
Director of Bird Conservation
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury, CT 06488
Phone: (203)264-5098 x308
pcomins at audubon.org
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