Date: 7/7/18 4:14 pm
From: David Ellsworth <davidells...> [LACoBirds] <LACoBirds-noreply...>
Subject: [LACoBirds] Third-cycle Heermann's Gull
I arrived at ShoreLine Aquatic Park on bicycle at 4:54pm (July 4), at
which point the Guadalupe Murrelet was apparently already long gone
(later confirmed by reading Tom Miko's post). Of course I tried
anyway, but to no avail so I took enjoyment at what I could find,
including 3 Brown Pelicans (BRPE), 3 Snowy Egrets, 1 Great Blue Heron
and 1 juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron all perched on one boat. I
noticed an instance of mild BRPE aggression for the first time (in my
previous experience they've aways been total gentle giants for example
letting Heermann's Gulls follow them around like pets), in which an
almost-adult raised its wings and bobbed its head to let an adjacent
younger BRPE know that it felt annoyed by it (perhaps because that
younger one had just suddenly playfully chewed on part of the boat);
the immature BRPE took the hint and side-stepped 12+ feet away from it
along the rail on which they were all standing (which also caused a
Snowy Egret also to have to scoot further along on it).

Then I decided to bird along the beach for a while (apparently called
Junipero Beach). First thing I noticed was that there's a lot more
Heermann's Gulls (HEEG) and California Gulls there now, compared to
Cabrillo Beach. A small number of the HEEGs were 2nd-cycle (just like
at Cabrillo), but mostly they were adult in breeding plumage (with a
very small number just beginning to molt into nonbreeding plumage).

Most interestingly, a third of a mile short of (WNW of) Belmost Pier,
at 33.75979°N,118.15341°W, was a 3rd-cycle (two year old) HEEG. Well,
2016 was the year HEEGs had an extremely unsuccessful breeding season,
and nobody (as far as I know) found any juvenile HEEGs. And now one
has shown up that must have hatched on that year.
Photos (still frames from 4K 60fps video):
(Bicycling back home on July 4 evening without having brought any
earplugs turned out to be a very bad idea, given that I'm trying very
hard to preserve the hearing I still have left. But I did get home
just in time to video the entire official Cabrillo Beach fireworks

Please correct me if I'm wrong and this is just an adult with a
way-off-track molting schedule. But I am pretty sure it's a 3rd-cycle
Also, did anyone end up finding any hatch-year HEEGs in 2016? I
certainly did not.
And has anyone else found 3rd-cycle HEEGs this year? This is my first.

David Ellsworth
San Pedro, CA



Posted by: David Ellsworth <davidells...>


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