San Leandro Marina 1/21 and 1/22 -- probable Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

I went gulling two days in a row at San Leandro Marina, where huge numbers of gulls were congregating (perhaps dispersants from the landfills that are shut down on the weekends). On Saturday, there were all the regulars: MEW, RING-BILLED, CALIFORNIA, WESTERN, GLAUCOUS-WINGED, THAYER'S, and AMERICAN HERRING GULLS, and some hybrids. There were a few odd ones I couldn't ID, but nothing that looked like a rarity.
All afternoon on Sunday I saw all the same species as the day before. But at 4:40 PM, while scoping the mudflats near Torito's restaurant, I spotted what appeared to be a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL: a very long-winged, thin-billed, California Gull-sized bird with a very dark back, slightly darker than a nearby Western Gull, and bright yellow legs. In flight, its slaty-blackish upperwings showed very little contrast with the black primaries. I could only get a few very distant, blurry pictures which don't really show much, but they do show that it is very dark backed, as compared to Western and Glaucous-winged Gulls standing nearby.  
Noah Arthur, Oakland

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