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.
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.