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Georgia Birding and Nature

California Gull, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Thayer's Gull

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California Gull, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Thayer's Gull
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California Gull (left), Herring Gull (middle), Glaucous Gull (right)
The California has its head tucked in.  Note its size, shape, and dark greater coverts.
 
UPDATE: The Glaucous Gull was relocated by many observers.  The Iceland and the Thayer's Gulls were relocated by a few observers just after the initial observation.  The Thayer's Gull was relocated a few weeks later also.  The California Gull was seen by the initial observers and thought to be relocated others.
 
Status for Georgia:
California Gull (This would be the 1st state record)
Thayer's Gull (2nd state record)
Iceland Gull (Accidental, 2nd inland record)
Glaucous Gull (Accidental inland, rare on coast)
Green Heron (Accidental for winter in Piedmont, photo)

cagu1.jpg

Michael Beohm, Richard Beohm, and I were blessed to find the following first
winter gulls at Lake Tobesofkee (middle GA).


California Gull (1)
Thayer's Gull (1)
Iceland Gull (1)
Glaucous Gull (1)

Green Heron (1)

also found:

Greater Yellowlegs (10+)
Lesser Yellowlegs (2)
Dunlin (2)
Least Sandpiper (8)
Fox Sparrow (3)
Bald Eagle (3)
Great Egret (4)
Winter Wren
Rusty Blackbirds
Bonaparte's Gull (20), Ring-billed Gulls, Herring Gulls (20+)

We were unable to get photos on Wednesday, so we went back today and were able
to get a few. I hope the photos of the CALIFORNIA GULL will be discernable
since this would be a Georgia First! Michael, Richard, and I all got to see it
and note the size, proportions, two-toned bill, dark greater coverts even while
in flight. The Thayer's was similar to the one we found at West Point Dam, but
this one appeared a little lighter. I don't think we got any good photos of it
though. The ICELAND GULL was seen with the GLAUCOUS GULL for comparison. The
THAYER'S GULL, ICELAND GULL, and GLAUCOUS GULL were relocated by other birders.
I am not sure of all there names, but Jerry Paine (nice guy) and his wife got
to see them. It took me till this afternoon to finally get some decent shots of
the Glaucous Gull. I was also able to get photos of the GREEN HERON.


This morning we were able to find all the gulls. They departed the lake fairly
early in the morning. We couldn't find any of the rare ones during the day. We
thought we would find them in the afternoon, but as far as we could tell only
the GLAUCOUS GULL returned. That was disappointing because we were hoping to
get some good photos. So, the California, Thayer's, and Iceland may or may not
still be there.


Hopefully some birders with good cameras can go there this weekend. Remember to
look in the early morning or the afternoon. Lake Tobesofkee is located near
Macon and can be accessed from I-475. The gulls were observed from points on
Bonner Gilbert Road and Lower Thomaston Road. I will try to give more details
and post some of my photos to my website maybe tomorrow if I have time.
 
Eric Beohm