possible ad. Western Gull, Cheboygan, Cheboygan Co.

Brian Allen tanager at manistee.com
Sat Jan 12 17:45:43 EST 2008

This afternoon at about 1:00PM I found an unusual gull off shore from the city park on Lake Huron in Cheboygan.  The gull had a very dark gray mantle about 2 shades darker than a nearby Herring Gull.  It was quite a ways out , about 200m or more offshore.  The bird was  a little larger than a Herring Gull so one of my first thoughts of California Gull was ruled out and I started to think of Slaty-backed Gull, pretty unprobable.  i decided to walk out on the pier which gave me a closer look.

The gull was perched on the edge of the ice flow.  At most times it was by itself and a group of Herring Gulls were about 1/4 mile away. At times a herring Gull or two would join it briefly to help me with comparison.

I studied the bird for over a half hour and could not see any subterminal white windows on the primaries as on a Slaty-backed and the legs were pink but not bright pink, more like a Herring Gull.  The bill seemed larger and not as straight as an HGull.  The head in comparison was very white with no streaks or post-ocular dark area and the shape was more rounded and fuller than HGull.  The White trailing edge of the wing was wide and very noticable in flight.  The size of the bird seemed only slightly 
larger than a H-Gull and the mantle was gray not black, it was definately not an aberrant midget, pale Great Black-backed Gull.  

The bird flew to the west after a half hour but then landed in some open water with Goldeneyes about a mile west of the pier.

Brian Allen
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