Strange Gull, Help!
Josiah Clark <sunbittern@...>
While out looking for vagrant landbirds along lands end, I took a glance down to the Sutro Baths. I was startled to see an immaculate white, largish gull. I locked up my bike and walked down for a closer look.
The primaries and tail were extremely worn, but there was not a hint of black in any of the plumage. The mantle was virtually pure white. The bill was all black as was the eye. The size and shape was daintier than the Westerns it was with. The bill did look smaller than the nearby gulls, making me think it was not a Glacaus. Some folks walked out on the cement levee causing all the gulls to fly, execept the one in question which headed toward the middle of the pond before taking a labored running take off to get airborne. THe bird had attempted to jump onto the levee earlier but failed. AS the bird took off I noticed pinkish legs. In flight from the base of the primaries and across the lower back I could see a very light buff coloration, spread across the back much in the way a bonopartes gulls back is, only lacking the bold contrast of course.
I left the gull sitting by a Western on the closest Seal Rock to the bath around 12 15. Its posture looked slimmer with slightly longer primary projection than the Western.
Could this be an Iceland Gull?!
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