Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2020-05

Common name:

Western Gull

Scientific name: Larus occidentalis
Date: 01/11/2020
Time: 10:00 am
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: 1st winter
Sex: Unknown
Location: Lee Kay Ponds
County: Salt Lake
Distance to bird: 60 ft
Optical equipment: Vortex 10 x 50
Weather: Cloudy, light wind
Light Conditions: Fair, no sun, but overall decent and consistent lighing
Description:        Size of bird: Large gull
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Round head, pronounced neck, stocky body
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Grey-brown overall with pink legs, black bill, dark wingtips and tail, white rump.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Large and rounded at the tip, all black
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Standing near CAGU & ICGU for comparison, very large gull with pink legs, overall light grey-brown with some mottling; bill was large, black and had a rounded tip. In flight it had a noticeable white rump.
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Mostly standing, then took flight.
Habitat: Flooded field near landfill
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Larger than most other gull species. Darker overall with dark wingtips eliminated GLGU & GWGU. Large rounded, black bill and white rump key distinctions from HERG. It also appeared lighter than other juvenile Herring Gulls that were present.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Seen similar bird in same area 2-3 years ago. Also seen in California.
References consulted: Various online and written books on gull ID.
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Ian Batterman
Observer's address: 8538 S. Harvard Park Dr
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 1/12/2020
Additional material:  
Additional comments: