Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

My birding blog site

  Franklin's Gull in Hamburg

Published: October 25, 2018
Tags: General Observations, franklin's gull

Here's a short post to mention a nice gull found at Woodlawn Beach State Park today...

A couple of days ago, I had a two hour block of time between a birthday lunch and my birthday dinner.  I decided to walk the beach at Woodlawn to enjoy the peace of the lake and check out the gulls.  I noticed an odd looking gull in my scope waaaay far down the beach.  Its head appeared to be a bit darker than what we should be seeing on our currently non-breeding plumaged Bonaparte's Gulls, so I thought it was worth getting a closer look to check it out.  As I walked along, I checked through my scope every now and then - and the gull looked better and better each time for a Laughing Gull or Franklin's Gull.

Eventually, when I got close enough to see some of its characteristics a little better, I was fairly certain it was a Franklin's Gull.  The dark head, those beautiful wide white eye arcs, and the darker mantle of mixed shades of brown and gray all looked good for a juvenile Franklin's Gull.  I took some photos to confirm and document this infrequent visitor to Western New York.  I later learned that the bird's half hood is a good fieldmark for a Franklin's Gull, separating it from a Laughing Gull.  That, as well as its white'ish hindneck and smaller bill are good fieldmarks to remember.

Happy birthday to me!

PS - just a little plug for the restaurant we went to for dinner, Mulberry Italian Ristorante on Jackson Avenue in Lackawanna:  we really enjoyed our dinners and highly recommend this place!  Apparently, they were featured on the Food Network too!  It's a "Must Go"!

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Juvenile Franklin's Gull

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Oddly, he wasn't associating with any of the other gulls further north on the beach

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He made short forays out over the water then returned to the beach

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A Greater Yellowlegs flew overhead as I made my way back to my car

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