Lake Merritt gulls: Glaucous and probable Kumlien's Iceland
Hi everyone. Sorry for the short Iphone message earlier... just thought I should get the word out.
Gull numbers were high at the lake today, and the birds were milling around a lot. While looking at the gulls in the bird paddock soon after I arrived, I suddenly found myself staring into the face of a bird that looked pretty good for KUMLIEN'S ICELAND GULL. He was skittish and active, and soon rocketed away toward the boat house.
When I arrived at the boat house, a huge pale gull standing with the flock on the roof immediately caught my attention -- a magnificent first-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL, surely one of the most beautiful birds I've ever seen, and the first Glaucous I've seen at the lake. The Kumlien's was also on the roof, but he flew off after a few photos. Lewis Liebert showed up only minutes after I posted from my phone and was able to see the Glaucous.
The male TUFTED DUCK was eating bread in the water between the nature center and the islands. Three female probable COMMON MERGANSERS were hanging around the buoys (they were too far away and too asleep to ID for sure, but their bright coppery heads suggested Common rather than Red-breasted).
Kumlien's candidate: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529@N02/sets/72157639378555995/
I'm not yet 100% sure on the Kumlien's; opinions are welcome.
Noah Arthur, Oakland