Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sabine's Gull!

Another Cincinnati area birder, Allan Claybon, photographed what appeared to be a juvenile Sabine's Gull at East Fork State Park on Saturday. I just saw the post on Sunday evening, so since I only live about ten minutes from that park, I headed out for a chance at this would-be life bird.

I got there about a couple hours before sunset and stayed till it started to get too crowded with people (sunset watchers I guess). I was there for about an hour and a half. I waited for about an hour by the resident gull flock for it to possibly fly in. I saw an adult Herring Gull fly in and land. I saw three Bonaparte's Gulls fly in including the one with three legs. Nothing else. More Ring-billed Gulls. and then, I saw something different looking coming in...


Juvenile Sabine's Gull!!

It flew in and landed on the water briefly, then proceeded to the beach to preen. There were people all around the gull flock, approaching it from both sides. I didn't expect the bird to stay long.




The bird was very skittish and was constantly moving. It stayed on the beach for about three minutes before a couple of young men walked close to the flock. It took to wing, flying just off the beach. A young boy then threw a football into the flock, and the gulls scattered and put down on the lake for the night.

This bird looked contented enough to stay here for a little while. It is very skittish though, so lots of activity close to the gull flock will spook it. Hope it stays. Thanks Allan for this awesome find and lifebird!!



  1. Congrats! Great bird and photos!

  2. great find and photos. I hope to see one sometime

  3. I enjoyed your post very much:)

  4. Great eye Don! It's not easy getting along with people when your trying to study something. But it's a good thing when people are getting some fresh air. Hopefully it's a opportunity to share your insights into nature.

  5. A beauty of a gull to see... Well spotted.

  6. Oh my, I would have wanted to ring some necks what with the yahoos ruining rare moment. Happy you got to see it.

  7. A beautiful Gull!

  8. Beautiful photos to document your lifer Donald! Too bad some people don't understand the birder's desire to not disturb the birds we are watching. Obviously, you can't blame the young boy for not knowing.

    I'm glad you got to see the Sabine's Gull and document it too! Congrats!

  9. Congratulations on the new bird and fine photos!
    Sad about the kids scaring the Gulls.:(