Posted by: atowhee | July 7, 2008

What gull is that?

Three picture sof two, similar pale gulls.  Taken along breakwater at mouth of Coquill;e River, Bandon, Coos County, Oregon.  July 7.  The county checklist gives the following gulls for summer… common: Western, Glaucous-wingedm, Heermann and Ring-billed.  Uncommon are BL Kittiwake and Franklin.  Occasional are: California, Sabine’s and Mew.  Thayer’s, Galucous and Herring ARE APPARENTLY NOT SEEN in summer.  This gull is too large to be Bonie, Franklin or Sabine’s.  I am not positive the two gulls are the same species.  Gull #1 in two shots:

Then Gull #2 in a single pose:

The wind here is atrocious, blowing gale force for days on end.  Am I just seeing especially sand-blasted young Westerns?

MamGillivray’s can be elusive an dhard to spto int he brush.  I has a wren scold me from deep within the salal and ferns on a heavily wooded hillside that gets 60 inches of rain per year. No bare ground, no view into the dark woods.  But those are mysteries of the unseen.   Gulls confront you with the mystery of the seen.  These gulls were in a parking lot.  They had gathered at the end of the Bandon jetty, south side, to be fed by a young tourist with bread pieces.  The views were close and clear and confusing.  I could have taken thirty clear photos. Among the obvious Westerns was one that may have been WesternXGlaucous-winged.  And these two largelhy white gulls with the ill-defined patterns.



  1. Harry this gull looks like a second year Western Gull to me. The size of the bill elimates the Glaucous-winged Gull. i use to bird the Bandon area and found several Western gulls in various plumages. I am no expert but that is my guess on what it is. Was out to the Buffalo jump State park today not much there the usual birds but did see three Badgers in trhe Prairie Dog Town. Two were young ones with an adult. Hopefully will go back to Benton Lake NWR some day soon i hope. up here will be getting migrating shorebirds soon I do believe. Well I hope I helped you out, hope to hear from you soon. good birding–Larry Carter

  2. Hmmm. I have enough trouble with full adults gulls, but I’m never shy about venturing a guess. Young (first spring/summer) Glaucous-winged seems the a good possibility. They look a little small for Glaucous-winged, but I have been fooled about size many times in my won photos.
    Let us know if you come up with a definitive ID.
    Cheers, Len

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