After reading Irene H.'s posting of a few days ago, I went to Redington Beach Pier yesterday, in the hopes of seeing the Lesser Black-backed Gull she sighted, which would have been a new LL bird for me.
Upon entering the beach, on the north side of the pier, there were only a few Laughing Gulls.Deciding to go beneath the pier and walk south, I looked up on the roof on the Bail & Tackle Shop, and with the Rock Doves and Laughing Gulls, was this medium sized gull with black wings; when I viewed with my scope, a few gray streaks were present on the back of his neck; walking south, to view with less glare ( he was most cooperative), with the scope, his yellow eye; red orbital ring; and "black mascara" anterior to the eye were very visible.
He has the upper mandible black ring, and lower mandible orange spot; his legs are pin, rather than yellow of a mature LBB Gull.  My reading suggests he is a third year bird; any other opinions?
I was surprised LBB Gulls are ABA Class 3.  They seem to be reported more frequently than many other Class 3 birds.  Any explaination for this.
Hope he spends the winter.    Thank you, Irene.
Jim Swarr. St. Petersburg Audubon    [log in to unmask]
PS   Directions for anyone not familiar with the area:    in St. Petersburg, FL
Going West, on Gandy Blvd,   which become Park Blvd.; and is Route #694-all the way to the Gulf, where you turn Left (South) on Route #699--Gulf Blvd, for about a mile.  There is a parking lot, in front of the pier, which contains a restaurant.   Free 2 hour parking available on the street.
The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary,  which is on the Gulf side of the street, about half way between #694 and the Pier, is having open house of their new bird hospital this Saturday, Nov. 9th.    They also have a Brown Booby, and Masked Booby, as patients, in the last compound on the right before the beach.   A great place.

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