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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Iceland Gull report by Dessi Sieburth


Rio Hondo Spreading Grounds, Los Angeles County, California, US ( Map ) ( Hotspot )
Date and Effort
Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:30 PM
Protocol:
Traveling
Party Size:
5
Duration:
3 hour(s), 45 minute(s)
Distance:
0.1 mile(s)
Observers:
dessi sieburth
Species
23 species (+2 other taxa) total
6
American Wigeon
12
Cinnamon Teal
7
Northern Shoveler
15
Canvasback
20
Ring-necked Duck
20
Lesser Scaup
10
Ruddy Duck
1
Double-crested Cormorant
1
Great Blue Heron
2
Turkey Vulture
1
Cooper's Hawk
2
American Coot
1
Killdeer
400
Western Gull
700
California Gull
20
Herring Gull
2
Thayer's Gull
1
Iceland Gull

Probable, seen in the Pond South of Washington. First seen by Jon Dunn. First cycle bird.
Originally, when we saw it, we mistook it for a small, pale Glaucous-winged Gull, which it was associating with when we first saw it. However, the color between the two birds was completely different. The presumed Iceland was much more buffy overall, with fine checkered wings.
--The primaries were whitish, with a slight trace of brown on the primary tips only discernible in close views. The tertials were had faint barring on them, and did not have any brown centers on them like one would expect for Thayers. At one point, the Iceland swam right by a Thayers, where it was clear that the bird was much paler overall, with pale primaries and tertials.
-- The only thing that pointed against the bird being an Iceland was its large size. It was slightly larger than the Thayers Gull, but slightly smaller and similar in size to a Herring. Its structure was otherwise similar to Thayers.
-- The bill was solidly black (with maybe a small pinkish base to the lower mandible in good light). The bill was small and slender (much smaller than GWGU), and similar to Thayer's in size and shape.
-- The eye was dark, with a faint dark smudge surrounding the eye. The legs were dull pink.
-- The wings were very whitish and checkered overall (not like a GWGU at all). The tertials were whitish with some faint barring. The bird did not appear worn or bleached at all.
-- In flight, the bird appeared ghostly pale. The tail was pale except for a very faint dark band at the end of it (the band covered about half the tail)
-- Another very striking mark was that the undertail coverts were heavily barred, which supports the ID as an Iceland Gull.

I am leaning toward the bird being a Kumlien's Gull. Although it does seem rather pale for that subspecies, I think that the bird was overall to dark to be a Glaucoides.
Photos attached below. I am open to opinions. Other observers were Jon Dunn, Beatrix Schwarz, and Andy Birch. Others who obeserved the bird believe it is a Kumliens Gull

© dessi sieburth
© dessi sieburth
© dessi sieburth
© dessi sieburth
© dessi sieburth
1
Lesser Black-backed Gull

continuing adult seen with other gulls south of Washington. Smaller than WEGU, dark back, pale eye, head streaking, thin bill with large red spot. Photos. Presumably flew in at 2:30, when about 800 gulls landed. Photos.

© dessi sieburth
12
Glaucous-winged Gull
1
Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)
1
gull sp.

possible first cycle LBBG. The wings just didn't seem crisp and patterned enough, though.
1
Peregrine Falcon
1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
1

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