01 November 2022

October 2022 Monthly Notables

Sightings: 
  • California Gull (adult). Calvert County, Maryland. 01 October 2022.
  • California Gull (2nd cycle). Clinton County, Illinois. 01 October 2022.
  • Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle). Baltimore County, Maryland. 02 October 2022.
    • Continuing.
  • Yellow-footed Gull (2nd cycle). Mohave County, Arizona. 05 October 2022.
    • 3rd State Record. Likely the same individual from Lake Mead (NV) last month.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (adult). Lincoln County, Oregon. 06 October 2022.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (adult). Keith County, Nebraska. 06 October 2022.
  • Ivory Gull (juvenile). North Slope County, Alaska. 10 October 2022.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gulls (3 juveniles). San Miguel County, New Mexico. 11 October 2022.
    • Apparent state high count for this date.
  • Black-headed Gull (ad. & 1st cycle). Queens County, New York. 12 October 2022.
    • Continuing adult joined by a newly arrived 1st cycle.
  • Franklin's Gulls (203 - various ages). Hancock County, Mississippi. 13 October 2022.
    • Apparent high count for coastal MS.
  • Little Gull (adult). Metro Vancouver District, British Columbia. 14 October 2022.
  • Glaucous-winged Gull (1st cycle). Elko County, Nevada. 14 October 2022.
  • Heermann's Gull (4th cycle). Volusia County, Florida. 16 October 2022.
    • Continuing "Atlantic" Coast bird, now in 4th basic plumage.
  • Franklin's Gull (2nd cycle type). Chatham County, North Carolina. 17 October 2022.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Benton County, Washington. 18 October 2022.
    • Returning bird since at least 2016.
  • Black-headed Gull (adult). New Haven County, Connecticut. 19 October 2022.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (3rd cycle). Saskatoon County, Saskatchewan. 20 October 2022.
  • Sabine's Gull (juvenile). Kewaunee County, Wisconsin. 25 October 2022.
  • Swallow-tailed Gull (adult). San Diego County, California. 25 October 2022.
    • 4th State Record.
  • Kumlien's Gull (adult). Central Okanagen District. British Columbia. 26 October 2022.
  • Ross's Gull (1st cycle). Capital District, British Columbia. 27 October 2022.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (adult). Clallam County, Washington. 28 October 2022.
    • Presumably a returning individual for the 2nd year.
  • Ross's Gull (1st cycle). Bruce County, Ontario. 30 October 2022.
    • Photos strongly suggest this species, although remains unconfirmed.
Notes:
1. Approximately 10,000 Black-legged Kittiwakes were recorded migrating west from Point Barrow on 11 October 2022. These numbers are not typical here, to say the least. See Alex Lamoreaux's report for details. 16 juvenile Thayer's Gulls were also reported. In most years 1-2 may be reported here at the height of Fall migration.

2. A nice showing of 630 Ross's Gulls was recorded at Point Barrow on 16 October 2022. 

October 2022 Quiz

 

January. Florida.

Age: The mottled brown upperparts, all-black bill, and apparent pointed primary tips all suggest a 1st cycle belonging to a four-year species. 

Identification: Note first the underparts have an obvious pale base color. This combined with the creamy head, long, straight black bill, and long-winged appearance, make for a different look than the expected Herring Gull. American Herring typically has warmer brown underparts, more head streaking and doesn't appear as svelte in the rear. Great Black-backed has a bulkier body, thicker bill, more checkered wing coverts with a peppered black-and-white plumage aspect. Consider the dark bases to the outer greater coverts, complemented by adjacent long plain edges. These plain feathers are characteristic of Lesser Black-backed Gull. The darker post-juvenile scapulars (1st alternate) with grayish anchors also support Lesser black-backed Gull, which is what our October Quiz bird is.

01 October 2022

September 2022 Quiz

 

March. Vancouver Island.

Age: A standard adult, four-cycle, gull.

Identification: Our September Quiz bird has light gray upperparts with rather extensive black on the wingtip. Note, however, the black on the wingtip is less-than true black, with a suspicious gray quality. The underside to the far wing reinforces this coloration. The smudged head marks, apparent dark eye, and fairly straight bill with orange-red gonys spot all support Thayer's Gull, which often shows a California-gull-like gape line. The pigment on the wingtip approaches the darkest extreme in this taxon, with no p9 mirror and the visible inner web being grayish black. This individual shows very fresh tips to all of its flight feathers for mid-March. Finally, it's worth noting that the white tips to the inner primaries can be relatively broad on some Iceland Gulls, even broader than what's seen here. 

September 2022 Monthly Notables

 Sightings:

  • Thayer's Gull (3rd cycle). Gambell, Alaska. 03 September 2022.
  • Black-headed Gull (adult). Bergen & Hudson County, New Jersey. 04 September 2022.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (adult type). Mobile County, Alabama. 04 September 2022.
  • Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle). Baltimore County, Maryland. 04 September 2022.
    • Apparently returning 1st State Record individual from March-May 2022, then a 1st cycle.
  • California Gull (1st cycle). Cameron County, Texas. 05 September 2022.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). Bronx & Queens County, New York. 07 September 2022.
  • Little Gull (juvenile). Sedgwick County, Colorado. 07 September 2022. 
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (2nd cycle). Albany County, New York. 08 September 2022.
    • Became progressively ill over the week and found dead on 14 September 2022.
  • Laughing Gull (1st cycle). Washoe County, Nevada. 07 September 2022.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (2nd cycle). Capital District, British Columbia. 10 September 2022.
  • Yellow-footed Gull (2nd cycle). Clark County, Nevada. 14 September 2022.
    • Apparently long-staying individual first found here September 2022 as 1st cycle.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (adult). Jefferson County, Washington. 16 September 2022.
  • Little Gull (2nd cycle). Morgan County, Colorado. 16 September 2022.
  • Red-legged Kittiwake (adult). Nome County, Alaska. 17 September 2022.
    • First eBird Record for Nome.
  • Franklin's Gull (adult type). Barnstable County, Massachusetts. 19 September 2022.
  • Short-billed Gull (1st cycle). Adak Island. Alaska. 22 September 2022.
  • Little Gull (adult). Buffalo County, South Dakota. 23 September 2022.
  • Glaucous-winged Gull (4th cycle type). Douglas County, Wisconsin. 24 September 2022.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (adult). St Paul Island. Alaska. 24 September 2022.
    • First Bering Sea Record. p1-p3 new, p4 dropped, p5-p10 old. Subspecies unknown. 
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (adult). Clallam County, Washington. 25 September 2022.
  • California Gull (2nd cycle). Berrien County, Michigan. 27 September 2022.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (juvenile). Renfrew County, Ontario. 28 September 2022.
  • Franklin's Gull (1st cycle). Wakulla County, Florida. 28 September 2022. 
  • Heermann's Gull (4th cycle). Duval County, Florida. 28 September 2022.
    • Atlantic Coast bird now in 4th basic plumage.
  • Black-headed Gull (2nd cycle). Queens County, New York. 30 September 2022.
    • Continuing from June 2022. 2nd basic plumage indistinguishable from adult.

Notes:
1. Lesser Black-backed Gull continues to expand its footprint in western North America. At least 2 individuals were reported in Washington, 4 individuals from California, a single bird on Vancouver Island, and most surprisingly, an adult on St Paul Island, constitutes a 1st for the Bering Sea.

31 August 2022

August 2022 Monthly Notables

Sightings:

  • Little Gull (2nd cycle). Monterey County, California. 01 August 2022.
    • Continuing from July 2022. p1-p4 new. 
  • Short-billed Gull (adult). Fort McMurray County, Alberta. 02 August 2022.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (2nd cycle). San Francisco County, California. 06 August 2022.
  • Heermann's Gull (1st cycle). Sitka, Alaska. 12 August 2022.
  • Laughing Gull (2nd cycle). Montmagny County, Quebec. 13 August 2022.
  • Heermann's Gull (4th cycle). Duval County, Florida. 14 August 2022.
    • Atlantic Coast bird. Slowed 4th prebasic molt, still with many 3rd generation secondaries and outermost primaries. 
  • Ivory Gull (adult). Baffin County, Nunavut. 21 August 2022.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (juvenile). Toronto County, Ontario. 25 August 2022.
    • Moribund individual.
  • Little Gull (juvenile). Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska. 25 August 2022.
  • Little Gull (juvenile). Jefferson County, Wisconsin. 27 August 2022.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (2nd cycle). Los Angeles County, California. 27 August 2022.
    • Continuing from July 2022.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (3rd cycle type). Juneau County, Alaska. 28 August 2022.
  • Black-headed Gull (2nd cycle). Queens County, New York. 29 August 2022.
    • Continuing from June 2022. Concluding 2nd prebasic molt.
  • Laughing Gull (3 juveniles). Lorain County, Ohio. 29 August 2022.
    • Notable count anywhere on the Great Lakes.


August 2022 Quiz

 

January. Washington. 

Age: Overall, both individuals appear to be adult type four-cycle gulls. The smaller apicals in mid-winter are not due to wear, and suggest younger adults. Zooming in, both individuals show dark markings on the primary coverts (just below the outer secondaries) which confirms the suspicion of not-quite-adult birds.

Identification: Pink-legged large white-headed gulls, with strong bills that appear somewhat bulbous, immediately evokes thoughts of Western Gull. The gray upperparts may be within range for northern occidentalis, but the smudgy head pattern is much more expected in hybrid Glaucous-winged x Westerns. Also, looking closely at the primaries -- especially on the individual on the right -- we find they're not quite pure black which is typical of this hybrid. Thus, both birds have enough oddities to comfortably be labeled hybrid Glaucous-winged x Westerns (so-called Olympic Gulls).  


31 July 2022

July 2022 Monthly Notables

Sightings:

  • Little Gull (8 adult and 2nd cycle types). Norfolk County, Ontario. 01 July 2022.
  • Glaucous Gull (2nd cycle). Washington County, Maine. 01 July 2022.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (2nd cycle). Los Angeles County, California. 03 July 2022.
  • Little Gull (3 2nd cycles). Iosco County, Michigan. 06 July 2022.
  • Franklin's Gull (2nd cycle). Monroe County, Michigan. 07 July 2022.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (2nd cycle). Beaverhead County, Montana. 07 July 2022.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (adult). Santa Cruz County, California. 07 July 2022.
  • Herring Gull (2nd cycle). Keith County, Nebraska. 09 July 2022.
  • Sabine's Gull (adult type). Dare County, North Carolina. 10 July 2022.
  • Franklin's Gull (adult). Islet County, Quebec. 10 July 2022. 
  • Glaucous Gull (2nd cycle). Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. 11 July 2022.
  • Laughing Gull (2nd cycle). Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay County, Labrador. 13 July 2022.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (2nd cycle). San Mateo County, California. 15 July 2022.
  • Little Gull (adult). Montreal County, Quebec. 16 July 2022. 
  • Short-billed Gull (adult type). Union County, Oregon. 16 July 2022.
  • Franklin's Gull (adult). Hampden County, Massachusetts. 25 July 2022.
    • Apparent 2nd county record.
  • Little Gull (6 adult and 2nd cycle types). La Haute-Cote-Nord County, Quebec. 28 July 2022.
  • Heermann's Gull (4th cycle). Duval County, Florida. 29 July 2022.
    • Atlantic Coast bird still undergoing 4th prebasic molt. Head pattern transitioned from white in first ten days of July to speckled gray by the end of the month (p1-p4 fully grown, p5-p6 growing, p7 dropped, p8-p10 3rd generation).
  • Slaty-backed Gull (1st cycle). St Paul Island, Alaska. 29 July 2022.
  • Black-headed Gull (2nd cycle). Queens County, New York. 30 July 2022.
    • Continuing from early June 2022.
  • Little Gull (2nd cycle). Monterey County, California. 30 July 2022.
    • Apparently same individual from Santa Cruz, May-June 2022.
  • Little Gull (4 adults; 1 juvenile). Churchill, Manitoba. 30 July 2022.
  • Laughing Gull (juvenile). LaPorte County, Indiana. 31 July 2022.

Notes:

1. On 01 July 2022, Woody Goss found what appeared to be an adult California Gull on an inland rooftop in Chicago, where a small group of Herring & Ring-billed Gulls were actively nesting. Based on the views and photos available, the bird seemed to be a rather typical California Gull (upperparts a shade darker than present Herrings, dark iris, yellow legs and considerable black on the base of p8-p10). On 26 July 2022, Goss spotted an apparent adult hybrid California x Herring 2 miles away on Lake Michigan feeding a pair fledged juveniles at Fullerton Beach. This same adult was subsequently found together with the rooftop bird a couple of days later at Fullerton. This time, better views and photos were secured, and suggest both birds are likely hybrids/backcrosses. Both individuals approach California Gull more so than Herring, although the irides are not entirely dark and the orbital and gape color is a fiery orange, not crimson red.