Date: 12/3/17 10:13 am From: Jon Woolf <jsw...> Subject: [NHBirds] Possible Mew Gull at Front Park (Manchester)
I stopped at Front Park in Auburn this morning, just to see what was there. Mostly what was there was the usual scattering of Ring-billed Gulls, but there was one gull that caught my eye as being possibly something else. It was an immature bird, almost certainly first-winter. It was noticeably smaller and more slender than the adult Ring-billed gulls, and the bill seemed a bit small and straight for a Ring-billed -- enough so that I wondered if I was looking at a first-cycle Mew Gull. I snapped several pictures:
Then I tried for some comparative Ring-bill shots. My photo archives are thin on Ring-billed Gulls, and the ones at Front Park today weren't cooperative, but I found a couple that are roughly similar, at least for shape and plumage:
After I got home I looked at both species in Gulls of the Americas, but couldn't tell for sure; it seems like immature Ring-bill vs Mew is one of those "flip a coin" decisions. So what do y'all think? Was this just an immature Ring-billed? Or was I looking at a first-cycle Mew Gull?