[Tweeters] unusual 3-yr gull at Stan Sayres Jan 4

kelsberg at u.washington.edu kelsberg at u.washington.edu
Sun Jan 4 11:56:42 PST 2015

Saw a 3-yr gull with narrow cylindrical all-black bill, a dark terminal tail band occupying about the middle width of the tail, gray legs, medium gray mantle, medium gray forehead and crown. Primary tips were all black with no white visible. Plumage was winter and first year, with a mix of about half gray and half brown in the wings.

It was in a mixed flock of 3 and 4 year gulls on the pavement near the boat ramp at Stan Sayres hydro pits (on Lake Washington Blvd) at 9 AM this morning as I was jogging by. Sorry no photos and I couldn't get close enough to determine iris color (no binocs).

I suspect it was a 1st winter Ring-billed Gull with individual variation affecting bill color and leg color. I know the dark tail band is often variable. The bill seemed so dark and narrowly cylindrical to me that it made me wonder.

If anyone happens to see it and can give an opinion, I'd love to hear about it.

Lots of other wonderful water birds along the shore - Cackling Geese, many widgeons, mergansers,grebes!

Gary Kelsberg
kelsberg at u dot washington dot edu

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