Herring spawn and gull congregations?

John Cant 793-5216

A friend told me that there were mobs of gulls in San Francisco (near Pier
40) this past weekend but almost none today. Is anyone seeing large
congregations responding to herring spawning anywhere in the Bay Area? Or
has spawning already ended?

John Cant



From: EBB_Sightings@... [mailto:EBB_Sightings@...]
On Behalf Of Lori Arthur
Sent: Monday, January 23, 2012 9:07 AM
To: bird sightings East Bay
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] San Leandro Marina 1/21 and 1/22 -- probable Lesser
Black-backed Gull

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,
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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