[shoalsbirder] Adult Iceland (Thayer's) Gull at Town Creek Marsh today

  • From: "Greg D. Jackson" <g_d_jackson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: AL Birds <ALbirds@xxxxxxxxx>, shoalsbirder@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2024 19:00:33 -0600

AL and Shoals Birders,

An adult Thayer's Iceland Gull was on the flats at Town Creek Marsh this morning. It was with a moderate number of Ring-billeds and Bonaparte's but only a few adult Herrings. This bird shows a petite yellowish bill with a red gonys spot and no dark; iris color is dark and legs are bright pink. The outer primaries show white undersides, and above are blackish with white apical spots on the folded wing. I was able to get some photos in documentation before the bird wandered behind the flock of white pelicans.

In addition to a dark-billed, first-cycle Kumlien's Iceland at Wilson Dam on the 28th, I had reported a briefly-seen adult Herring-type I thought was very likely a Thayer's; this may be the same individual as the distance is not great and adult Thayer's are very scarce here. However, today's bird is different from the white-winged, adult Kumlien's Iceland reported at Wilson Dam by Andrew Lydeard and others on subsequent days. Together with at least one Iceland at both Guntersville and Magnolia Springs in January, it's been an amazing season for the species in the state with a minimum of five birds so far.

Gull numbers in general were much decreased at Wilson Dam this morning compared to 10 days ago. Moderate numbers of Bonaparte's were scattered below Wheeler Dam, with even more at Spring Creek, but I didn't see anything unusual in those flocks.


Greg D. Jackson

Birmingham, AL

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  • » [shoalsbirder] Adult Iceland (Thayer's) Gull at Town Creek Marsh today - Greg D. Jackson