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Geese and a Gull, Spano Park, Fresno, California, USA (1 Viewer)

SHolt

Well-known member
Are these smaller birds young of the year for resident Canada Geese (possibly a second clutch) or are they Cackling? There were seven total with two having necks that were much longer than the smaller birds. The difference in neck length and body size was very apparent as they walked along the beach in a line.

The gull flew overhead as I was taking images of the geese. I was able to capture these two images. My best guess is a California Gull.

Observed in Spano Park, Fresno, California on 16 January 2017 about 1545 pm PST.
 

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DarkFireFalcon

Well-known member
Looks more like a California Gull. Westerns don't get that far inland. You're just seeing the underside of the feet, which often look pink even on yellow-legged species. The wings don't look dark enough for Western, neither do the underwings. The white trailed edge to the wing is also a lot thinner than Western typically show.
 

lou salomon

the birdonist
Really? It's nearly black on my monitor. In UK terms, closer to Larus fuscus intermedius, than to even L. f. graellsii, let alone L. canus.

the mantle tone is deceiving in these pics. actually it can't be a western gull because it has a large p9 mirror. lacking or small in western gull. but since the bird seems to show pinkish legs i'm reluctant to put a name on it.
 

peterginsburg

Well-known member
"actually it can't be a western gull" I respectfully disagree. The mirror looks fine for Western Gull and all else visible in the photos (as well as location) points to that species.
Peter
 

rkj

Well-known member
"actually it can't be a western gull" I respectfully disagree. The mirror looks fine for Western Gull and all else visible in the photos (as well as location) points to that species.
Peter

I generally try to avoid commenting even on good photos of gulls, but as for the location pointing to Western Gull: eBird lists only three records of Western Gull (probably involving only two birds) anywhere near Fresno and none in the last five years. There are many records of California Gull in the area.
 

lou salomon

the birdonist
hi peter, this is how i see the distribution of mirrors in the wing of this flying gull. the narrow and a bit longer p10 mirror is visible at the outer edge of the wing while the slightly broader but shorter p9 mirror is well visible (p9 is lying over p10 that's why you see the p9 mirror more than p10 mirror). western gull only has p9 mirrors in 5-10% individuals and those p9 mirrors would be tiny, almost not visible in such pics.
 

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peterginsburg

Well-known member
Good points made! The apparent mirror on P9 is problematic and although somewhat rare inland it seems Western Gulls do make it inland more often these days but California Gull is much the more likely. If the colors in the photo are correct the mantle and wing are far too dark for CAGU and the contrast with the outer wing not stark enough. As with many photos we may not be getting a truly clear sense of this bird. I'd rather not use the "h" word.
Peter
 

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