[Tweeters] Snohomish Black-headed Gulls

Steve Pink pirangas at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 4 15:19:01 PST 2016

I saw the Vancouver gull last week and the Snohomish bird on Tuesday with Blair Bernson and Ann Marie Wood.
When all three of us then saw the Snohomish Black-headed Gull (BHGU) on Tuesday we immediately considered whether it was the same bird as the Vancouver gull which had conveniently disappeared on Sunday night. Looking at the photographs we were convinced they were different birds. Then the plot thickened.
The bird seen on Wednesday in Monroe looked different to the bird seen on Tuesday - especially the head pattern.
Growing up in the UK I have much experience with BHGU's and know at this time of year they can range from full winter plumage to breeding. The dark mark behind the ear is the part of the hood which develops in breeding birds. I noted while studying the bird through my scope on Tuesday that in different light and angles the outline of the hood was apparent. Othertimes it was not. It may be that in photos the varying distances, angles, light, optics and photoshop could all combine to make the same gull look somewhat different. Implausible as that may sound - it seems more likely than 2 BHGU's in the same field at Monroe.
I would be interested if a real gull expert could provide an opinion.
Cheers, Steve

Steve Pink
Edmonds, WA
mailto: pirangas at hotmail.com

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