An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was viewed for 20 minutes this late afternoon/evening from the Edgewater Marina pier looking east out over the Whiskey Island/Wendy Park harbor! 3,500 plus Bonaparte’s Gulls, 14,000 plus Ring-billed Gulls and 5,000 plus Herring Gulls (and scattered few Great Black-backed Gulls) were present in the immediate region and close to 50,000 gulls could be seen immediately further to the east and south.
Initially pulled in flight, the jet black under-primary flash (which at a distance resembles the same flash from adult Little Gull, yet is by no means as extensive) popped and the bird immediately dropped to sit on the water with a large mixed Ring-billed Gull/Bonaparte’s Gull flock. Digiscoped photos were attempted and some may reveal extremely poor but record shots. Jerry Talkington had the bird briefly on the water and in flight after he arrived from Mentor.
From Edgewater Marina pier and Wendy Park, thousands of gulls must be looked through. A massive number of Bonaparte’s are staging here and it simply (simply?) takes TIME to scour the mega flocks. On the water, Black-headed Gull resembles Bonaparte’s Gull but is in-between size of Bonie and Ring-billed. Shows a paler gray mantle then Bonaparte’s and a whiter neck, larger white head, limited dark around the “ear” and a longer, slightly more substantial dark red bill.
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