Lesser Black-backed Gull at Clearlake
- Yesterday Doug Weidemann and I found a 3rd- or 4th-cycle LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Clearlake. I first saw it in a flock of gulls on the water about 300 yards off Redbud Park at 9:22 am; at 9:30 it flew northward, circled several times, and vanished. At 10:30 am, Bryan McIntosh relocated it in a flock of gulls in a parking lot just south of the restrooms at Redbud Park, and watched it fly away. After birding around the lake, Doug and I returned in the evening and eventually relocated it on the beach at Austin Park at 4:35 pm, viewing and photographing it until a boy ran down the beach and spooked the flock at 4:42 pm. While waiting for it to return (it didn't), Doug was reviewing his photos when he discovered it in some random shots of the gull flock in the parking lot at 10:12 am.
The gull resembles an adult but has dark smudges on the bill, the white tips to the primaries appear a bit smaller than would be expected in an adult, and the legs (which we never saw, only got some blurry images of) are dull fleshy-yellow rather than bright yellow. The iris is very pale. The only primary with a white mirror is P10. The tail appeared to be pure white (we did not notice any dark smudges). I will be posting a few not-so-great photos in the CalGulls website.
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
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