Species, Date, Time and Location Information
10/18/2016 11:13:00 AM
10/18/2016 11:23:00 AM
Duration (total time in view):
10 minutes, approx
Barr Lake State Park
Swarovski 80mm scope with 25-50x eyepiece
Superb. Temps about 55, no heat shimmer, modest winds, sun mostly to back
Description of the Bird
Slim, long-winged pale gull nearer in size to nearby CAGU than nearby HERG. Monotone in color: a pale biscuit color that is paler than any THGU I've seen in Oct-Dec. About as light as dry sand behind it (but not color: more brown and less yellow in hue). Watched the bird vie for a dead fish with an adult Cal Gull and an ad and juv Herring Gull for several minutes. Then it flew over lake, circling around several times giving excellent looks at upper wings, tail, etc -- and underwing. Landed in water for a minute or so, then flew back to yonder dead fish.
Head a tad paler than body, with transition gradual. No darker color visible on wings (or elsewhere in plumage) when perched. In flight essentially equally monotone with no tail band, no secondary bar. Outermost primary or two, in part, faintly dusky. Bill small and black. Viewed for 10+ minutes. The upperwing primary pattern was similar to https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Iceland_Gull/id (4th pic; juv in flight, Nov, Massachusetts), noting that the Barr Lake bird was much paler than in that bird. The underwing was silvery without dark markings.
Similar Species Discussion
Thayer's Gull - very similar, but should show distinct tail band and darkish outer primaries in flight (distinctly darker than seen on this bird) at this time of year (worn birds in Jan-Mar can be quite pale on outer primaries). Bird on small side for THGU and overall color paler than I believe a THGU should be at this season.
The size, uniform palldiness and dark bill really eliminates all other contenders.
None, though I did search for pics of juv ICGU with similar upperwing pattern to aid in my description of upperwing
Moderate with Iceland Gull, extensive with Thayer's and apparent mutts (THGU x ICGU or variants of either species). Note that Washington has 2-3 recent accepted October records of Iceland Gull, breaking with that state's long-term pattern of Dec-Mar sightings of this species.
Notes made DURING observation
No files uploaded.
Date Documentation Submitted
10/19/2016 2:01:00 PM
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