Immature Gulls, GBBG vs HERG

I’ve become more and more obsessed with gulls, so I’ve been spending a lot of time with my ‘Gulls Simplified’ book by Pete Dunne and Kevin T. Karlson, and on the Facebook page North American Gulls. It’s put me in the mind of just trying to get out and enjoy the gulls while I still can. Our “season” for good gulling is quickly coming to a close. So, I headed out to the Newburgh Waterfront this evening to see what was going on. Gull numbers are certainly down a bit, but there were still plenty of birds to enjoy.

~Immature Great Black-backed Gull at the Newburgh Waterfront, 03/20/21.~

Unfortunately, most of the gulls were WAY out, and the heat shimmer was making it too difficult to sort through them. So instead, I focused on the nearby birds; they were mostly Ring-billed Gulls, but there was also a handful of immature Herring Gulls (HERG) and what I believe was a single immature Great Black-backed Gull (GBBG). I hope I am correct, otherwise this post will be a total embarrassing bust, lol. The bird (above) shows what Dunne and Karlson refer to as ‘piano keyed appearance’, it was slightly larger than nearby HERGs, and had a noticeable overall whiteness to it, compared to the more drab brown look of the HERG (below).

~Immature Herring Gull at the Newburgh Waterfront, 03/20/21.~

Both are good looking birds, but I have to say I’m partial to the GBBG, it’s a handsome beast. As the sun started to set and it cooled a bit, I was able to go through some of the distant gulls – nearly all Herring Gulls, with one adult Great Black-backed Gull and an Immature ICELAND GULL. Good gulling!

~GBBH in the foreground and HERG in the back. Newburgh 03/20/21.~
~GBBG in flight, Newburgh Waterfront 03/20/21.~
~HERG in flight, Newburgh 03/20/21.~
~One last pretty shot of the immature Great Black-backed Gull, Newburgh Waterfront 03/20/21.~

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