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Iceland Gull - Pillar Point Harbor.

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  • Alvaro Jaramillo
    Folks, A short visit to the mouth of Denniston Creek (at the end of Broadway across from the Maverick s convention center) in Pillar Point Harbor, San Mateo
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2011

      A short visit to the mouth of Denniston Creek (at the end of Broadway
      across from the Maverick's convention center) in Pillar Point Harbor, San
      Mateo County today was quite fruitful. I went there for a bit of gull
      watching with visiting Belgian birder Peter Adriens. While studying some
      gulls a bird that was strikingly pale and small landed, and looked like a
      second cycle Kumlien's Iceland Gull. The bird was smaller and longer winged
      even than Thayer's Gulls; the mantle was paler grey than Thayer's or Herring
      gulls nearby. In addition the primaries were whitish with a pale
      grayish-brown wash along the rachis. In flight the bird had a grayish tail,
      and no secondary bar, in other words the secondaries were entirely pale.
      Thayer's Gulls always have dark secondaries and primaries in their second
      year! The eyes were relatively dark, legs bright pink, and wing coverts very
      whitish. The bill was short, albeit thicker than the classic petite Iceland,
      but the head was pretty nicely rounded. We considered some Glaucous hybrid
      but the extent of dark on the bill, dark eye at this age, general small size
      and long wing structure did not add up. This essentially looked like a good
      Kumlien's Gull.and thank heaven's it was a second cycle bird as there are
      more ways to go wrong in the first cycle plumages with this species. The
      long-winged look while walking in with the other gulls was striking,
      recalling Mew Gull. We also saw a Nelson's Gull (Glaucous x Herring hybrid)
      there, on my flickr site there is first the Nelson's and then several shots
      of the Kumlien's Iceland.


      In this photo - Thayer's to the right of the Iceland


      In this photo - Herring to the left of the Iceland


      Photo showing long-winged structure and rounded head


      good birding,


      Alvaro Jaramillo


      Half Moon Bay, California

      Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide


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