Monday, September 10, 2012

Gull in the Hood

Cindy and I wanted to show our pal Bob Behrstock the birds at high tide in Panamá Bay. He’s birded there plenty of times before while guiding tours going back to the 80’s. Whew, that’s in another century.

This day, we arrived well before the water hit its high mark. Costa del Este provided the usual waterbirds, shorebirds, and aerial hunters. We moved on to Panama Viejo. In short order, Bob asked for the scope and Cindy looked where he was looking. A gull with red legs and bill required a closer look.

It certainly was different than all the Laughing Gulls present. Bob thought there was a good chance it could be a Gray-hooded Gull. He remembered the white wedge through the primaries as diagnostic. So although the gull isn’t illustrated in The Birds of Panama, George Angehr wrote excellent text describing this and other key field marks. This individual is about the seventh record for Panamá.

We made several phone calls and waited a short while for Carlos Bethancourt to arrive and enjoy views through our scope. During the next few days, more of our friends were able to admire this rarity. The video has been previously uploaded and announced on Xenornis. It’s past time for a post here on the blog.

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