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:

http://www.jwoolfden.com/Photos/odd_gull/Unusual_gull_full_body.jpg
http://www.jwoolfden.com/Photos/odd_gull/Unusual_gull_head_shot.jpg
http://www.jwoolfden.com/Photos/odd_gull/Unusual_gull_flight.jpg

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:

http://www.jwoolfden.com/Photos/odd_gull/immature_ring-billed_side.jpg
http://www.jwoolfden.com/Photos/odd_gull/adult_ring-billed_full_body.jpg
http://www.jwoolfden.com/Photos/odd_gull/adult_ring-billed_head.jpg

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?

-- Jon Woolf
Manchester, NH

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