|Photo by Jeff Stemshorn, Tempe Town Lake |
Pedestrian Bridge, Nov. 25th, 2011.
For most of us ALL gulls are a mystery when it comes to I.D.ing them. As someone who spent their childhood near the ocean in southern California, seagulls were our nemeses on the school playground and on the beach - randomly bombing us with guano as they flew off with our lunches, so I tend to avoid them altogether.
But on November 25th while birding the Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge, I spotted a single bright white bird floating amid a flock of Ruddy Ducks on the lake. When it took to the sky we could see it was a gull, but what kind? Is it a Western Gull, or a Ring-billed Gull in non-breeding plumage, or a California Gull in winter plumage... or something else?
Anyone want to venture a guess as to what type of gull this is?
*** Update as of Dec. 1st ***
Suprisingly, the best ID so far of the Mystery Gull has come from the least experienced birder, my friend Don Price, an avid fisherman:
"Yes. I know this gull! His name is Richard." Don went on to say - "Well, I guess you’d say what can make me feel this way? My gull, my gull, my gull… talkin’ ‘bout my gull."