Today Noah Arthur and I birded around Oyster Bay. Upon arriving at the overlook of the dump, we noticed relatively few gulls, so we went to the bay. On our way there, we found a female Barrow's Goldeneye, apparently quite unusual for this location. Possibly more unusual, though, was that there were no other goldeneye present. On the rocky area nearest the mouth of the creek, there was a small concentration of gulls. Among them were 33 Mew Gulls, a high count for this location. While scanning through them, we stumbled upon a very bulky, pot-bellied first-cycle gull. Once better views were acquired, we started getting very interested. The bird showed field marks reminiscent of a Slaty-backed, and it seemed like a very good candidate. Here's a link to some photos:
Then, after being satisfied with our views of that, an Osprey flew over. Shortly after, a Barn Swallow darted past. Offshore, a few Forester's Terns were foraging.
While we walked back towards the dump, seven Short-billed Dowitchers flew over in a calling flock. Once at the dump, we found many more gulls than were apparent earlier. While scanning through them, we found a small Thayer's-type. Upon close inspection, we saw it had grayish primaries, very short bill and legs, and relatively compact structure confirming the identification of an adult Kumlien's Iceland Gull. Unfortunately, the bird was too distant to get adequate photos for identification. While scrutinizing the gull flock even more heavily, we were shocked to find another Kumlien's-type. This one, however, was a second-cycle. Photos can be seen here:
It was strikingly pale, and was small compared to nearby Westerns. Certain photos illustrate that aspect better than others.
As always, in the fields there were many Pipits, Western Meadowlarks, etc. and two Lincoln's Sparrows.
At Oakland Middle Harbor, I was surprised to find a single Greater White-fronted Goose among the Canadas. Offshore, there were two Pelagic and a Brandt's Cormorant. Closer to land, there was a Brown Pelican as well as many of the expected shorebirds and gulls.