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Mew Gull - First-summer plumage - Bishop City Park
8-9 May 2003

Debby Parker:..."Yesterday while looking at gulls at the Bishop City Park, a smaller gull in immature plumage stood out as different. It was near the Ring-billed Gulls so we could tell it was smaller for starters. What popped into my mind was a Mew Gull but it was in considerable worn plumage so not an easy call. Larry Nahm & I studied it using the NGS, scope and binos. After much careful observing we phoned Jim to come see and get his opinion. He agreed too after studying the bird. We then phoned Heindels to make sure. They drove up and studied, photographed,etc too. After deliberation, it's agreed it's a Mew Gull. It was seen today too & can be found by looking for its shorter and narrow dark bill (gray with a black tip), dove-like face with a large dark eye in a seemingly smaller head and gray legs & feet. No hint of a hood or dark spot behind the eye as in a Bonaparte's or other small gulls. It is slighty but noticeably smaller than the Ring-billed that are present also along with the larger Cal gulls. Sometimes it rests on the gazebo roof and is tough to make out."

Tom and Jo Heindel photos:

Chris Howard photos: