Date: 10/2/17 7:44 pm From: Wade & Kathy <awfuller...> Subject: Sabine's Gull at New Bern
This morning I had the incredibly good fortune to see a Sabine's Gull over the Neuse River as I was traveling south on the Hwy 17 bridge from Bridgeton to New Bern. The gull flew up and over the bridge right in front of my vehicle. I only saw the bird for about 5 seconds as it climbed, leveled off, crossed both lanes of traffic and then descended down below road level and out of view, but even without binoculars the striking wing pattern was unmistakable. The secondaries had a huge white triangular patch that extended to a point on the leading edge of the wing, the primaries were black and the interior portion of the wing and back were brownish. I took the gull to be a juvenile as the head was generally dusky brown. I did catch a black band at the tip of the tail. It was headed east--probably looking for some ocean. Although this is most likely a new Craven County sighting, I'm not totally shocked as the strong recent north-east winds and the number of reports of this species west of here this fall has been almost unprecedented. Quite a way to start the day!!