This evening, 2/12, I found a 2nd cycle Thayer's Gull on the beach at Daytona Beach Shores. It seems to be the same 2nd cycle bird that I found on January 28 and 29.

This bird is considerably smaller than a Herring Gull. It has a very gentle, rounded head and small bill. The bill is beginning to get pale at the base. It is very short legged. The bird is recognized as a 2nd cycle bird by the gray scapulars coming in, the rounded tips to the outer primaries, and the fine vermiculations in the coverts, especially the greater coverts. The bird shows the very pale underside to the primaries and secondaries and the classic "Venetian-blind" effect caused by the outer webs of the outer primaries being dark, while the inner webs of the outer primaries are pale. The primaries are medium brown, lighter in color than most Herring Gulls. The primary tips are edged in white.

There was no sign of the 1st cycle Thayer's Gull or any of the three Iceland Gulls. However, high tide is coming in the late afternoon this week. This makes the beach narrower at the time the gulls are coming in. This creates more interference with all of the people and cars on the beach. Today's beautiful weather brought lots of people to the beach and this weekend is the beginning of Speed Weeks with the Daytona 500 coming in about 9 days. If you visit, it would be better during the week, or when the weather is miserable.


Michael Brothers
Marine Science Center
Ponce Inlet, FL

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