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Gull


Bob Chapman
 

Passing a gull flock just north of Oso Flaco Creek along North Oso Flaco shore I stopped and puzzled over a sub-adult Western Gull. What struck me as puzzling was the white head and breast smudged with gray, not typical for second cycle Western. Bill was mostly fleshy pink with a darkly smudged tip. Very large, robust gull. Dark dusky pink leg (hopping on one foot? One legged?) Wing panels medium brown and worn. Primaries molting in all black. Mantle dark, mottled sooty. A wave came in and the bird flushed to the north. In flight, again, big bird with a WHITE rump and basal portion of tail. Thick black terminal band.

Possible subadult Yellow-footed Gull?

Searching north now.

Bob Chapman
Oceano Dunes
 


Bob Chapman
 

Could not relocate gull.

Consulted Howell & Dunn, "Gulls of the Americas" and while the bird was very similar to a second cycle Yellow-footed Gull (photo 32.11) the obviously pink legs do not fit. Sibley seems to show second cycle birds with pink legs but H&D only shows them approaching pink, more flesh tone. 

Probably a Western but I do expect Yellow-footed to show up at some point.

Bob Chapman
Oceano Dunes