Date: 2/5/18 9:05 am
From: J. Barker & J. Morris <sepdxhbs...>
Subject: [obol] Re: dark-headed gull in Portland
I just checked out the area on Google Maps and was able to orient myself
to where we, and the black-headed gull, were. If you Google "Delta
Park Owens Sports Complex" and switch the map to satellite view,
that's the best way to explain it. We were standing in the parking lot
just SE of the "pin" in the map. The gull started off in a flock in
the area just SE of the parking lot and flew, to my best estimation,
NW. Thanks,Jennifer Sent: Monday, February 05, 2018 at 8:33 AM
From: "Jim Danzenbaker" <jdanzenbaker...>
To: <sepdxhbs...>
Subject: Re: [obol] dark-headed gull in PortlandHi Jennifer, That is
intriguing. What direction did the flock fly to? Thanks. Jim On Mon,
Feb 5, 2018 at 7:55 AM, J. Barker & J. Morris <sepdxhbs...>


My husband Joseph and I are new to the world of gulls (we've only
been birding at all for about six months). Sunday morning we were
headed up to Vanport Wetlands in Portland but took a quick detour
to East Delta Park when we got off I-5, because we saw an athletic
field full of 300+ gulls and wanted to test our gull ID skills.
Most of the birds were GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS and MEW GULLS, with
some WESTERN GULLS. We also saw a very intriguing gull that we
hope someone on OBOL might have ideas about.

We were standing in the parking lot adjacent to a soccer field and
a large flock of gulls flew by--among the usual suspects there was
a single, smaller-sized gull with an unmistakably black head. We
were unable to get a photo, unfortunately--we tried to follow the
black-headed gull with our binoculars, but the group it was in
flew away from the area.

We know that a black-headed gull would be unusual in Portland,
especially at this time of year, so we asked about it on the North
American Gulls Facebook group. We were told that Franklin's Gulls
still have a significant amount of black on their heads in winter,
but they'd be rare in Portland, especially in winter (although
there have been winter records in Seattle the psst couple of
years). Another suggestion was a Bonaparte's Gull with a very
aggressive molt cycle, but they're also uncommon to the area in
winter and wouldn't typically be found in a field. What do our
fellow OBOLers think?

If anyone wants to try to relocate and identify the species of
this gull, we saw it between 7:30 & 8:00 AM in the area around the
parking lot next to the soccer field at East Delta Park (we took
I-5 exit 306B to get there).

Thanks, and happy birding,

Jennifer Barker

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Battle Ground, WA
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