|Common Name||Lesser Black-backed Gull|
|Scientific Name||Larus fuscus|
|Type of Report||Rare Species|
|Date of Observation||04/08/2019|
|Reporting Observer's Name||Kyle Jones|
|Mailing Address||230 South Windsor St|
South Royalton, VT 05068
|Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers|
|Latitude of Observation||0|
|Longitude of Observation||0|
|Place Name||Wilder Boat Launch|
|Vermont eBird Checklist URL||ebird.org|
|Time of Day||05:50 PM|
|Length of Time Observed||1 hour ish|
|Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)||1,500|
|Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)||200|
|Noteworthy Weather Conditions|
Bad. The day had already been declared "epic" by several observers for the fallout at the Wilder dam area. Cold, wet, sleet. Good day for birding, bad day to be a bird.
|Optical Equipment Used for Observation|
4 observers with fancy binoculars, including 3 with spotting scopes. A couple of cameras as well.
|Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species|
Several of us have had experience with LBBG in other areas. Often with multiple birds representing multiple ages (Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, etc).
|I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event.|
|Description of Habitat|
Sitting on ice in the Wilder reservoir.
Mostly just standing, after the entire flock of gulls descended into the area. A larger group of birders had been birding the area prior to the gulls coming in, some bemoaning the lack of larids.
|Description of Vocalizations|
|Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation|
A flock of nearly a hundred gulls descended en masse onto the floating ice in the reservoir. This is a LOT of gulls for eastern Vermont. I was scoping them out and texted other birders about the event. Sarah Carline had not yet left the area and Chris Rimmer and Spencer Hardy joined us. Kent McFarland was already at home eating tacos and stayed there. I quickly noticed one bird in particular was darker mantled and slightly smaller and more delicate than a Herring Gull and suspected adult Lesser Black-backed Gull. Sarah and I tried fairly unsuccessfully to get photos because the LBBG stayed behind other gulls much of the time. After Chris and Spencer joined us the bird was much more cooperative, particularly when the ice, birds, and birdwatchers moved to the southern end of the reservoir. The birds were quite close to us for much of the time. On one occassion many of the birds, including the LBBG, took off, circled the area, and most returned, including the LBBG. Eventually more birds, including the LBBG, rose up and left the area headed north.
|Relative Size & Shape|
Good comparisons with Herring Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls. Much larger the RBGU, slightly smaller than HERG. See additional photos in checklist referenced above.
Head feathering all-white. No dusky immature or winter feathers. Iris yellow with red orbital ring.
|Feet & Bill|
Bill yellow with red gonial angle and small dark spot. Legs were dull yellow, although at some light angles somewhat yellow-pink.
Medium gray. Much darker than the RBGUs and HERGs it was standing close to.
|Lower Back & Rump|
Not well observed.
Gull-like. I did not really have a chance to see the dark secondaries from underneath.
|Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts|
White, white, white, white.
|IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?|
Distinguished from HERG primarily by darker mantle, leg color. No overlap to suggest a hybrid HERG/GBBG. Slaty-backed was considered in the field, but eliminated due to leg color (not pink). Western Gulls are larger and uglier, also with pink legs.
|Other Notes & Comments|
Adult based on clean plumage. Sex not determined.
|This report was written from notes taken:||Written from Memory|