[CT Birds] Fwd: Mew Gull, Southport Beach, 4/10/15

Stefan Martin nafets519 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 11 01:27:54 EDT 2015

Sending this in for Mayn. The email given for reporting did not work for him. After reviewing photos with feedback from other birders, accompanied by in field notes, this adult bird does not appear to be your typical Common or American (short-billed) subspecies. As Mayn states, any and all feedback is welcomed and encouraged on this bird. As Julian pointed out earlier, it is rather important to Identify a subspecies with potential for splitting these birds in the future (and certain subspecies have yet to be confirmed in CT). In any case, this is an awesome find for the state! Good luck to those planning on picking through the Gull flocks tomorrow. It seems that low tide is the best time to get a concentration of birds fairly close in. Little Gulls are pretty spectacular but now there's a Mew in the mix! 

Good luck!
Stefan Martin

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Mayn Hipp <mhipp4 at sbcglobal.net>
> Date: April 11, 2015 at 1:03:01 AM EDT
> To: Stefan Martin <nafets519 at gmail.com>
> Subject: Mew Gull, Southport Beach, 4/10/15
> Reply-To: Mayn Hipp <mhipp4 at sbcglobal.net>
> Greetings birders,
> At 1 pm today I arrived at Southport Beach to look for Little Gulls and while I didn't see any, I did end up finding a very unexpected Mew Gull after about 15 minutes of slowly scanning the gull flock. I quickly helped get Mike Warner and Paul Cashman who were also present on the bird and began trying to get some IDable photos (conditions were less than ideal for photography). After about 30 minutes or so, the Mew Gull took off headed east and disappeared quickly into the fog, but not before I was able to finally get some shots of the wings.
> Since the bird was busy preening pretty much the whole time it was on the ground, the first thing I noticed was the size and the dark mantle. It seemed just a hair bigger than the surrounding Ring-billeds, same with the size of the bill. Bill looked very stout and clean compared to the Mew Gull I saw in MA not too long ago (which I assumed to be L. c. brachyrhychus or "short-billed" Mew Gull). The smudging on the head was strongest near the nape and continued faintly into the upper chest. The mirrors in the primaries were very small compared to the MA bird I saw. I read in Peterson's Gulls of the Americas that kamchatensis has a narrower trailing edge to the inner primaries and, to be honest, I was pretty excited when I saw the presence of that trait on the subject bird in my photos. 
> I don't have any experience with different subspecies of Mew Gull in the field, so any thoughts on which Mew it could be are welcome and encouraged. The photos can be found here on my flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mhipp/
> Sorry for the late post. Happy hunting and good birding!
> Mayn Hipp
> Boston, MA
> mhipp4 at sbcglobal.net

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