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All,

I can add a little more detail as to why Phil Brown did not report his
finding in mid-March.  I was forwarded (by a friend) his inquiry on how to
submit his photos to the FOS Records Committee recently, so I sent him the
FOS webpage to download the document needed.  Phil commented in the email he
believed it was a Lesser Black-backed Gull at the time, and did not think
about Kelp Gull till Rick Heil told him that is what he believes the photos
were of.  He has submitted some photos to the records committee.  At least
all can sleep well that a Kelp Gull was not not reported (sorry, couldn't
resist that one; translation: it wasn't done knowingly)).

I don't know if anyone is wondering why he did not report the gull itself,
but I would guess because Lesser Black-backed Gull seems to have lost its
rarity label, if not to some Floridians, certainly to many in the northeast
US.  I would venture to say they are approaching, if not already, an annual
label during winter through spring here in SW FL.

I would also suspect a less than pure Kelp Gull (I'm not suggesting it is
one, only the possibility should be considered) turning up in Florida would
not be out of the question, especially along the west coast. I don't have
time to research it now, as it's late and I'm in the last week of the school
year (we had our 8th grade awards ceremony/graduation ceremony earlier this
evening and mounds of paperwork are due; I know Dave Goodwin can relate to
that!), but I recall some Kelp Gulls nesting off the Louisiana coast in
recent years, which resulted in pure Kelp and Kelp X Herring offspring.
Sibley does mention Kelp X Herring (seen in LA) resemble Yellow-legged or
Britain/Iceland Lesser Black-backed Gull (may not apply as this bird has a
very dark back/mantle) but are bulkier, with drab legs (may apply). All
this, of course, may be totally irrelevant and costing me much needed sleep.
  Have fun with this one!

Charlie

Charlie Ewell
Cape Coral, FL
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