Plum Beach Long Island Franklin’s Gull – YES!

A distant shot of the Plum Beach Franklin's Gull.  Click on it for best viewing size.  Note the extensive white tertials, bold white eye arcs and mostly white hind neck.

A distant shot of the Plum Beach Franklin’s Gull. Click on it for best viewing size. Note the extensive white tertials, bold white eye arcs and mostly white hind neck.

This morning, Bill Fiero and I headed to Long Island to try for the Plum Beach FRANKLIN’S GULL. We would not be disappointed. Upon our arrival, a group of birders had the bird in their scope. We had rather distant looks initially, but after showing well and flying around a number of times, the bird landed on the beach on the other side of the creek near the bridge. What a beauty! The rose blush to its breast was very distinct, giving the bird and elegant look. The gull spent most of its time in the company of one particular Laughing Gull and we observed and elaborate courtship display. The identifying features were easily noted. Broad white eye crescents, bold white tertials giving the bird a broad trailing edge to the wing in flight and making its anterior distinctly white by comparison with the Laughing Gulls. Also noted was a slightly smaller bill. The hood is not as extensive as in a Laughing gull, giving it a mostly white hind neck. All these features in direct comparison with the nearby Laughing Gulls made it relatively easy to identify. I believe this bird will be present for some time due to its bond with the Laughing Gull. Many thanks to Sean Sime for all his help and directions to finding the bird and thanks to Deborah Allen for initially finding this great New York State bird. Some other highlights of the day included American Oystercatcher, Boat-tailed Grackle, Common, Forster’s and Least Terns, Black-crowned Night-heron and Willet.

American Oystercatchers

American Oystercatchers


Black-crowned Night-heron

Black-crowned Night-heron

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2 Responses to Plum Beach Long Island Franklin’s Gull – YES!

  1. Way to go John, that’s a really good looking bird. Congrats!

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