Date: 3/26/21 10:13 pm
From: Nicholas Komar <quetzal65...>
Subject: [cobirds] Larimer Gulls (GBbG and Vega)
For all you gull lovers in land-locked Colorado, we are at peak of spring gull migration. In Larimer County, the current Hotspots are the Larimer county landfill and horseshoe reservoir southwest mud flats, in Loveland. It’s also worth checking the ephemeral pond at the corner of US 287 and 71st St. About 2000 gulls are currently hanging out, mostly Ring-billed and California Gulls. There are also about 100 Herring Gulls, 20-30 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and 10–20 Iceland Gulls. Franklin’s Gulls are beginning to trickle through. Rarities include a probable Cook Inlet Gull (hybrid Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull), a candidate Vega Gull (see details below), Glaucous Gull and a Great Black-backed Gull (GBbG), all adults. I bet other rarities will turn up. I look forward to seeing gull reports this weekend.

If you go to the landfill Saturday (closed on Sunday), be sure to check in at the front gate for parking instructions.

Vega Gull (aka Siberian Herring Gull) would be a vagrant from the northwest coast of Alaska. A few have wintered in coastal Texas and Florida. Over the years, one is occasionally reported in Colorado but to my knowledge has not been formally confirmed in Colorado. AOS considers them a subspecies of Herring Gull. Outside of North America, they are considered a unique species, Larus vegae. They look like Herring Gull with dark eyes and darker gray mantles. I was able to get some low quality photos of the current candidate on Friday at Horseshoe Res and Tuesday at the Serious Texas Roadhouse Pond at US 287 and 71st St. Photos are posted to eBird (links below):

Better photos may be needed to confirm this identification.

Nick Komar
Fort Collins CO

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