01 December 2022

November 2022 Monthly Notables

Sightings:

  • Black-legged Kittiwake (adult). Sherman County, Oregon. 01 November 2022.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (adult). Pueblo County, Colorado. 06 November 2022.
    • Presumably returning individual for the 29th winter.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska. 06 November 2022.
    • Found in Kimball County on 08 November 2022.
  • Little Gull (adult). Grant County, Washington. 07 November 2022.
  • California Gull (1st cycle). St. Lucie County, Florida. 08 November 2022.
  • Kumlien's Gull (1st cycle). Nanaimo District, British Columbia. 10 November 2022.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). Marshall County, Alabama. 11 November 2022.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Benton County, Washington. 16 November 2022.
    • Returning individual since at least 2016.
  • Little Gull (adult). Hughes County, South Dakota. 17 November 2022.
  • Great Black-backed Gull (adult). Stanley County, South Dakota. 18 November 2022.
  • Glaucous Gull (1st cycle). Washington County, Utah. 19 November 2022.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (2 adults)*. Muskegon County, Michigan. 21 November 2022.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Thompson-Nicola District, British Columbia. 21 November 2022.
  • Black-headed Gull (adult). Cuyahoga County, Ohio. 25 November 2022.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). McCormick County, South Carolina. 25 November 2022.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (1st cycle). Lincoln County, Georgia. 25 November 2022.
    • Same individuals from SC.
  • Heermann's Gull (4th cycle). Volusia County, Florida. 29 November 2022.
    • Atlantic Coast bird present since August 2019, now in 4th basic plumage.
  • Heermann's Gull (2nd cycle). Baltimore County, Maryland. 20 November 2022.
    • Continuing bird, presumably the returning 1st State Record individual from March 2022.

Notes:

  1. Perhaps most interesting this month is what proved to be 2 different adult Slaty-backed Gulls at the Muskegon Wastewater Treatment Plant in Muskegon, Michigan. While observers sensed there was something not quite right about the movement of black-backed gulls they were seeing in the area, no one explicitly picked up on two different birds in the field. It was Liam Singh who keenly discovered this multiplicity while reviewing photos on eBird. Differences in wingtip pattern and head pattern leave no doubt. This is the first time more than one Slaty-backed Gull has been present at the same site in the interior, and perhaps for all of the lower 48.

November 2022 Quiz

 

February. Indiana.

Age: A large gull with black upperparts immediately narrows down our options to a four-cycle species. Given the adult-like white tips to the flight feathers, with brown markings on the underwing coverts and marked tail, we can be sure this isn't an adult, and best fits a 3rd cycle type.

Identification: Black-backed adults in North America can be approached by leg color, size/structure and wingtip pattern. The massive bill and head, all white tip to p10 (left wing) and pinkish legs point directly to Great Black-backed. Lesser Black-backed is ruled out by overall structure and wingtip pattern (note, some Lessers can show fleshy legs at this age). Western (and Yellow-footed) is ruled out by the white tip to p10. Slaty-backed Gull doesn't typically show this massive bill with large blocky head, and should have broader white tips to the trailing edge. Our November Quiz bird is indeed a 3rd cycle type Great Black-backed.

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.