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- To: <email@example.com>
- Subject: Mystery gull
- From: "Carleton Wood" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 13:32:58 -0500
- Importance: Normal
- Sender: email@example.com
On sunday Keith Watson, Pat Moore, Neil Moore and I studied an interesting
gull at Cape Point for about 45 minutes. We used binoculars as well as a
couple of scopes including a questar (or two). The weather was overcast so
we didn't have to contend with a glaring sun distorting details. Even so, we
came up with no definite identification.
The gull in question was an adult and was very large, only surpassed in
size by the Great Black-backeds. We had Great-blacked Backs (GBB) and
Herring Gulls right beside our gull several times so that we could make a
good size comparision. Our gull was intermediate in size between the two.
Mantle color was basically the same as the 20 plus adult Lesser
Black-backed Gulls that were in the vicinity, that is to say a shade or two
lighter than the GBB's and considerably darker than the Herrings.
The head was large and formidable-looking. It seemed fairly rounded,
however closer inspection revealed a little "blockiness". The head and neck
were white and very "clean" looking with very little streaking. Closer
inspection revealed some very fine streaks on top of the head.
The bill was large and yellow, although not what we would call "massive".
The widest point in the bill seemed to be at the gonydeal spot, which was
The eyes (irises) of our gull were yellow. The orbital ring color was very
difficult to assertain. It appeared to be yellow. There may have been a
small amount of orange present.
The legs were pinkish, like the GBB's and Herrings.
The tail of the bird was white.
We did not get a chance to study the primaries (alas), but when the gull
flew away, we noted the white trailing edge to the wings seemed very similar
to that of a Herring Gull. The wing tips were black with a few white spots
near or on the tips of the outermost primaries (not much help). The bird was
not relocated after it flew as it went a considerable distance.
This bird matches the description of a Western Gull fairly well but could
also be a hybrid between Great Black-backed and Herring as suggested by
Brian Patteson. I am sending you this description in the hopes that one of
you out there will relocate and possibly identify this bird.