[Tweeters] Lesser Black-backed Gull? at Larsen Lake on December 2

Pterodroma at aol.com Pterodroma at aol.com
Mon Jan 6 03:03:16 PST 2014

In light of the recent confirmed reports of a Lesser Black-backed Gull at
the mouth of the Cedar River, Renton on Jan 4 (photos & corroborating
observers), I thought I should maybe now anecdotally mention an interesting gull
seen circling around over Larsen Lake in Bellevue's Lake Hills Greenbelt
now a whole month ago on December 2. Since seen only in flight, it wasn't
one I could pin down with absolute certainty, but my best suspicion at the
time (and now) was Lesser Black-backed Gull, but I just left it
'officially' recorded in my LHG records as "unid larid gull' and figured I'd just put
this one ice, watch 'tweeters' and see if a LBBG might actually turn up
somewhere, me thinking maybe if anywhere, maybe down around Renton and south
end of Lake Washington at one of the gull spots where 'rarities' tend to
show up sometimes. Now that there really IS (was) a Lesser Black-backed Gull
down there recently (Jan 4), the bird I saw at Larsen Lake on Dec 2 becomes
a little more compelling, suspicions remain the same, but species remains
unidentified. Below are my notes lifted (copy/paste) from my LHG walk on
Dec 2. From John Pushock's photos of the bird sitting, the head and mantle
look about right and good match to what I observed to the Larsen Lake gull
in flight.
from my LHG notes, Dec 2, 2013:
".... The most interesting and quite tantalizing bird of the morning was a
flyover gull that circled over Larsen Lake but once that I think was a good
candidate for a possible winter adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.
Definitely NOT any one of the more familiar Puget Sound larid gulls e.g. GWGU,
HEGU, WEGU, CAGU, RBGU, MEGU, or a hybrid involving any of those. This gull
was comparably smaller than a GWGU of which there were a couple others
flying around, had a decidedly uniform dark slate colored mantle (me thinking
Western maybe?) but the bill seemed much too delicate for a Western Gull.
However, from the underside view, there was at least one very prominent
white spot (‘window’) at the tip of the outer most primary and a smaller one
next to that but both less noticeable top side. Head and neck were whitish
but overall streaked. Tail was white but stained slight rust (oil?) but
any other key features, especially leg and eye color could not be determined
nor even the bill color for that matter. I watched this bird for the
entire time it allowed (~90 seconds) as it flew over, coming from the east (from
Lake Sammamish?), passing directly overhead (me on the south side of
Larsen Lake at the time), over Larsen Lake, Walmart, then back again and
continued south. Unfortunately without seeing this gull actually parked
somewhere, I can’t call this one with any positive certainty and it is officially
logged as “unid. larid gull sp? ....”
Richard Rowlett
Bellevue (Eastgate), WA



Subject: [Tweeters] More about the Lesser Black-backed Gull at Renton
From: John Puschock
Date: Sun, Jan 4, 2014, 12:07 AM

Hi all,

As I wrote earlier today, there was an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull at
the mouth of the Cedar River at Renton, King Co. this afternoon (Jan 4). It
flew in at approximately 4:15 pm from the south. It stayed until 4:43 pm,
at which time it flew to the northeast with a few other gulls. Matt Bartels,
Jen Kunitsugu, Nina Bohn, and others also saw it.

I posted two photos. They can be seen at
http://zbirdtours.com/LBBG_6591.jpg and http://zbirdtours.com/LBBG_6597.jpg.

John Puschock
Matthews Beach, Seattle
(email address filtered)

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