Clifton Court Forebay Vega Gull photos

Noah Arthur

Hi everyone.
Here are some photos of the (sick) immature that I'm tentatively calling a 'Vega' Gull, found by Albert Linkowski and I at Clifton Court Forebay on Jan. 9:
This first-cycle Herring-type gull shows everything I'd like to see on a Vega: checkered coverts, white tail-base and contrasting white rump. The dark bill, and dark outer primaries contrasting with the pale inner primary panel, seem to rule out hybrids with pale-wingted things such as Glaucous. The almost entirely juvenal plumage is also striking; is this a good mark for Vega in the latter half of the winter?
What do you all think? Any objections to this being a first-cycle Vega?
One important caution: Nobody should go look for this bird unless you want to see him in Turkey Vulture poop -- he was sick and probably won't make it.
Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA

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