Bonita Beach Franklin’s Gulls!!!

A beautiful first winter FRANKLIN'S GULL on Bonita Beach!

A beautiful first winter FRANKLIN’S GULL on Bonita Beach!


This past week I have found a number of good gulls and terns for the area. (see previous posts) Yesterday, while I was birding the interior of the state, a birder from the area came to the beach here to try to find the birds. He was quite successful in finding the Bonaparte’s and Lesser Black-backed Gulls I had seen. He also found a Franklin’s Gull which he posted the report of to the “Florida Birds” listserve. Charlie Ewell alerted all of us on the Southwest Florida Bird Line. When I retuned home, I spent the late afternoon trying for the gull that had been posted with no success. This morning, Ed Combs (local birder) and I spent the morning searching the gulls for the subject birds. We had some nice birds, but not our targets. This afternoon I went to the point again to see if anything good had come in with the masses of birds that do each afternoon. My initial sweeps found nothing unusual. At 3pm as I started over, I found the adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL that I had initially found last Sunday. By 3:30, many more Ring-billed and Herring Gulls had come in. At 3:45 I decided to make a last sweep. As I looked toward a group on a sand spit in the inlet, I saw two birds fly in that looked good. I ran over to check them and to make a long story short, found two first winter FRANKLIN’S GULLS!!! Another new state bird for me and a great one at that. Florida gets Franklin’s gulls every few years, and they are usually well north of here. YES!
Note the black cap and size comparison to the similar Laughing Gulls.

Note the black cap and size comparison to the similar Laughing Gulls.


Franklin's Gull

Franklin’s Gull


This is the second Franklin's Gull, but they were so similar it was hard to tell them apart.

This is the second Franklin’s Gull, but they were so similar it was hard to tell them apart.

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2 Responses to Bonita Beach Franklin’s Gulls!!!

  1. bill says:

    Those birds are gorgeous . . . a study in earth tones.

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