09 August 2015

August Ross's Gull in Southern Quebec

Yeah, so a Ross's Gull was spotted in Quebec on 04 August 2015. Yep, early August!

Photo posted by Samuel Denault on ABA Rare Bird Alert FB.


Les Escoumins is on the St. Lawrence River, about 150 miles northeast of Quebec City.

Les Escoumins (red pin) is on the north side of the river. 

Who Found This Rare Gem?

Jean-Guy Beaulieu found and photographed the bird, but apparently most of the general birding community wasn't aware of this sighting until it was posted on FB on 07 August 2015. It was reported at the same spot two days after the initial sighting. From the photo, it appears the bird has some black showing on the lower greater coverts and black on the retained outer primaries.  

Thanks to Jim Pawlicki for bringing this one to my attention.


Speaking of August Ross's, I've learned that North American Birding phenom, Bruce Mactavish, has an extraordinary record from 9-11 August 1991 (L'Anse-aux-Meadows, NL).

Photo by Bruce Mactavish. 09 Aug 1991.
The precedence of Bruce's bird and this most recent sighting suggest early August may be a good time to start dreaming about, and actively searching for, this perfectly constructed gull (at least via the input and output regions of the Gulf of St. Lawrence). Bruce describes his bird as having black marks on the upperwing coverts and feels this hints at some immaturity. Hence, we might be able to say that an exceptionally early Fall Ross's Gull is more likely to be an after hatch year bird, but not fully adult.  

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