Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cool Gull at Kalmus Beach in Hyannis

There's been a very cool gull down at Kalmus Beach this week. It looks like a herring gull until you notice that it has yellow legs, not the usual pink. It has a darker back and possibly an eye ring that is more red than orange, causing many birders to stop and think about this one...
At first the bird was thought to be a lesser black backed gull, a rare enough bird for these parts, and in fact it was that description that sent me down to the beach with my camera and binoculars. My first pictures weren't good enough when I sent them to the experts to look at so I went back the next day to try and get pictures showing better field marks. These are just a few of the many shots I took.
Some think it may be a hybrid gull but others have been photographing it in flight and from all angles and there is some thought that it might be a Yellow Legged Gull. Yeah, I know, you're thinking that's pretty obvious but in actuality, a Yellow Legged Gull in our part of the world would be very, very rare and the experts are going to be very, very sure before they declare this to be one. Add to the mystery that the very declaration of a Yellow Legged Gull is in itself a controversial call for there are some that do not feel it is a separate species and you have a real birding adventure going on...

I will post updates as I have them. The bird was at Kalmus as of this afternoon, even in the driving rain so if you are so inclined...go take a look!

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