Utah County Birders
 Field Trip Report

2 Feb 2019

Gull Identification Clinic
Report and Photos by Suzi Holt

Yesterday we heeded the invitation from Billy Fenimore and a group of us made our way up to the George S and Delores Dore' Eccles Wildlife Education Center in Farmington Bay for a Gull Identification Clinic/field trip. We were welcomed by Billy and other volunteers and saw many dear birding friends. It did not disappoint! It was amazing!!! I could have sat there for another 2 hour rerun by Cameron Cox!!! He made gulling look so fun and so easy...I was pumped to get out in the field to give it a try. I learned a lot but most important was "Structure and Size". And to also recognize the gulls as you would a friend not just try to identify them. It will take practice! I am so grateful for experts and their willingness to share and that is what Billy Fenimore and the Education Center is all about. I would highly recommend taking your families. Get up there, the resource is phenomenal! 
After the presentation we all headed out in a huge group to practice. I was grateful tor the opportunity to practice and to share in the enthusiasm of so many as we watched 100's of "seagulls" GULLS, small ones from Ring-billed to Icelands (Thayer's) and California to the big Herring and Lesser Black-backed gulls. They were poking at 6-10 pound sushi (CARP)! 
I loved watching them fly and practiced looking for the mirror, the gony spot on the bill and the backwards 7 wing tip, the pot-bellied or the slim and sleek, the rounded or bulky squared off head, the clean white or the ones that were just a "ness".. What a fun experience!!! Thanks to so many from Nikon to Swarovski scopes ready and willing to share. Thank you! Thank You! Thank You! 
Here are a few of my so so good shots, but yes I could recognize a few of them!
This one even had Cameron a little stumped...he said it was either a Icelands-Thayers or a Thayer's-Icelands I think that is what he said  the expert always learning.

   Iceland's (Thayers) Gull. Shiny black bill,
long winged, pink legs.

Herring Gull, sorry I cut of the primaries but they are black and do have white spots Chunky body, big head, huge bill, light eye, pink legs.   

...see here are the primaries on that Herring gull

Lesser-black backed Gull. Charcoal mantle, tiny bill, darkish eye, pot-bellied, rounded head, upright posture, adult has almost purplish legs, and translucent inner window on wings in flight.

Lesser Black-backed Gull.


Ring-billed Gulls in flight?



2nd winter California Gull?

Herring Gull (top) and Lesser Black-backed Gull (bottom)?

 Terry Ried. Billy Fenimore. Suzi Holt and James Hoffman



E-mail: ucbirders@utahbirds.org