Hello Birders The Iceland Gull was again seen at Sardis Park, by myself and 3 other birders, from 12:50 until it flew away at 13:35. A beautiful gull and well worth the wait; as I arrived at 10:30 and haven't seen one for 6 or 7 years. Thanks Gord! Jason Ryder Lake
Luckily i saw this gull yesterday. Outstanding find Gord. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. It has been interesting reading the BCVanbirds site re: the discussion of this gull. I have really enjoyed all the pictures posted on this site and others. Hope it sticks around.
Glad to hear that everyone who's gone for it has found it. I dont expect that this subspecies of Iceland Gull will be very common out here so I encourage everyone to see it while they can. Im not sure how many are seen on the east coast either where you'd expect them more! Mind you, I havnt even seen the more 'common' one yet and I dont think even they are that common either.
Ive studied up and to me, this is clearly a 'Greenland' Iceland Gull. My personal experience I was able to apply to this would be to compare to Thayer's Gull for the size issue. I have never seen a Thayer's Gull, even the smallest, which would probably be a small female, come close to this guy in all aspects. It's almost more Mew Gull than Thayer's! Of course, the colouring on the wingtips is pure white and the mantle (back) is very pale. The eye falls within what it should be as well for colour.
I certainly learned a lot more! I did not realize the significant difference between the 'Kumlien's' and 'Greenland' populations beyond one being more difficult than the other to ID. I always watched keenly for the little pale guy. I also watched keenly for the tad larger darker one but with caution as then the "is it a pale Thayer's or dark Kumlien's" question would have to be addressed before any name could be confidently applied. (yikes!)
Jason, way to hang in there for it!
Ed, great to meet you again and glad you saw it.
Dave, good work. Was pretty happy to hear a phone call soon after I knew you were there.
I waited 10 seconds for the gull! John, Ed, and Mike were there and kindly gave me the nod. The Iceland Gull had flown in shortly before I arrived, so I didn't need to wait at all. The gull left only 5 to 10 minutes after everyone else left the pond. I tried to get a shot of it flying, but pulled the trigger too quickly and ended up with this blurry shot.
Hi All I sent my pictures to a member of the rare birds committee in California. Whenever I get something I have questions about I contact him and he usually gives good advice. I didn't get his permission to forward his name but here is what his consensus is. He has studied Iceland Gulls in the past to include them in the California rare records.
"Your bird has essentially all white wing tips which is characteristic of glaucoides, but some kumlieni on Baffin Island also have all white wing tips and are not distinguishable in the field. So it's not safe to specify the race of your Iceland Gull but I see no reason to question its "purity." It looks to me about as good as you can get for the West Coast".
Roger Foxall has also sent the pictures to another expert back east with experience with the species and I will inform everyone when and if we get a response.
I'd ask about size, but since there are no other Iceland Gulls to compare it to plus size can vary between males and females that cant be much help there either for more positive ID.
At lunch it was there again briefly along with a juvenile Glaucous Gull (not the same bird as Salish Pond). The wind was howling pretty good! The gulls bathed and had lots of drinks. Not soon after as I was leaving when the rain started up the whole flock of gulls got up and took off in various directions. A few came back and landed but not the Iceland.
Geeze Dave, you could have got both your lifer white gulls in the binoculars at the same time!!! ;D ;D ;D
Finally got a flight shot too.
Hope it hangs around for Thor. Maybe they'll stick to their habits and drop by the park at midday for drinks and a bath and then again before leaving to roost. With the warm wind coming, the snow's not going to last so let's hope they dont just use one of the soon-to-be- plentiful puddles for drinking and washing!
Nice pictures Gord. A beautiful, difficult shot of the Iceland flying. Wow! Unique shot of the Glaucous and the Iceland together! Couldn't you have got them to line up side by side? You are right, that would have been to lifers in one view for me not too long ago!
So did anyone see the Iceland Gull today (Wednesday)? Lynn Miller and I were at Sardis Pond for the early afternoon performance and the mid afternoon performance, but the gull didn't show at either time. We had to leave about 3:05, leaving Brent still there watching.
I know several people who still want to see it, so I'll be watching for reports.
The Glaucous Gull was at the Salish Pond behind the library again.
As a consolation, we had nice looks at three tiny white-cheeked geese among a flock of larger geese at Sardis Pond. They had to be minima subspecies of Cackling Goose, the clearest examples I've ever seen. They were duck sized, dark, almost purple, on the front below the neck, heads tiny, blocky, and bills tiny, triangular.
Thor's not the only one!! I still haven't seen this guy. This job thing gets in the way.
There where quite a few gulls, maybe 50-75 just before I left at about 3:20. It was rather cyclic, two or three would come in and then two or three would leave. This went on for the time was there until they all decided to fly. I waited another 10 minutes and 10 or so returned (mainly immature birds) but I had to leave.