01 January 2017

Monthly Notables December 2016

  • Iceland Gull (1st cycle). Fairbanks NS County, Alaska. 01 December 2016.
    • Possible nominate, glaucoides.
  • Franklin's Gull (1st cycle). Barnstable County, Massachusetts. 04 December 2016.
    • A first cycle bird with dark brown upperwings and nearly absent PA molt.
  • Glaucous Gull (1st cycle). Washington County, Vermont. 07 December 2016.
    • First record for central Vermont.
  • Ivory Gull (adult). St. John's County, Newfoundland. 09 December 2016.
    • Seen with a "clean" puncture wound on the right side of its neck.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (juvenile). Brown County, Wisconsin, 10 December 2016.
    • Second consecutive year this species has appeared at this site.
  • California Gull (adult). Cuyahoga County, Ohio. 10 December 2016.
  • Common Gull (adult). Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. 10 December 2016.
    • Wingtip pattern close to Kamchatka but paler upperparts suggestive of a canus outlier. 
  • Mew Gull (adult). Kings County, New York. 12 December 2016.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Pierce County, Washington. 17 December 2016.
    • Continuing.
  • Black-headed Gull (1st cycle). Volusia County, Florida. 18 December 2016.
  • Thayer's Gull (1st cycle). Oswego County, New York. 21 December 2016.
  • Kumlien's Gull (1st cycle). Salt Lake County, Utah. 18 December 2016.
    • Continuing from November.
  • California Gull (1st cycle). Yalobusha County, Mississippi. 21 December 2016.
  • Sabine's Gull (1st cycle). Brevard County, Florida. 22 December 2016.
    • A tattered and sickly looking bird with worn upperparts. Interestingly, the bird showed a bluish tibia similar to many Herrings on the Atlantic coast.
  • Slaty-backed Gull (adult). Polk County, Iowa. 23 December 2016.
    • First county record.
  • KELP GULL (adult). St. John's County, Newfoundland. 23 December 2016.
    • Undoubtedly the rarest and most unexpected gull sighting of the month, if not the entire year! First province record. Now the northern most occurrence for this species, worldwide. Relocated briefly on Christmas Day but not seen since.
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (juvenile). Mohave County, Arizona. 24 December 2016.
  • Ivory Gull (1st cycle). Delaware County, Ohio. 29 December 2016.
    • 2nd State Record. A one-day wonder seen and photographed by a single observer.

Miscellaneous Notes:

  1. Just south of the ABA area, a 1st cycle Audouin's Gull was found and photographed on 10 December 2016 in Trinidad. Not only is this a 1st record for the island, it's a 1st record for all of the New World. Certainly not a species that was on anyone's radar.
  2. A first cycle kumlieni type was observed for a couple of days in Chatham-Kent County, Ontario before being found dead on 01 December 2016. Jermey Hatt salvaged the specimen and delivered it to the Royal Ontario Museum.  
  3. A putative Laughing x Ring-billed Gull was photographed and observed by many in Michigan City, Indiana (LaPorte County) on 03 December 2016. Although notably smaller than purported hybrid individuals of this combination, the wingtip and basic plumage head pattern do match up to LAGU x RBGU. Photos here.
  4. Cathy Sheeter documented via video a pair of 1st cycle Herring Gulls begging an adult for over 30 minutes. The adult gull subsequently regurgitated food for them. 10 December 2016. New Jersey. 
  5. An apparent European Herring x Glaucous Gull (so-called Viking Gull) was observed in St. John's, Newfoundland on 18 December 2016 (Alvan Buckley, Bruce Mactavish). Plumage was entirely juvenile.
  6. At least 3 reasonable candidates for nominate glaucoides Iceland Gull occurred this month.
    • First cycle from Fairbanks NS County, Alaska. 01 December 2016. 
    • Adult from Simcoe County, Ontario. 03 December 2016.
    • Adult from Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. 17 December 2016.