Thursday, December 2, 2021

Franklin’s Gull

Franklin’s Gulls breed in the Northern Great Plains and in the southern Canadian prairie provinces. These gulls winter off Peru and Chile. They migrate south, most passing over Panama on their way south. In western Washington they are uncommon fall migrants and very rare at other times. One was reported from Tolmie State park in late October. This observation is actually my second for Thurston County. On 16 August 2020, Erika and I photographed one in Olympia (
Even for me, waiting until 30 November to see the bird gave it more than ample time to depart. I tried unsuccessfully for it a couple of weeks ago. On a rainy end of November, I returned and found the Franklin’s Gull sitting solitary on the beach at the park. The gull was probably not in peak health—I suspect vagrants seldom are. The bird’s belly was an odd, muddy color—probably not a healthy symptom. After walking towards me and then swimming a short distance off the beach, the bird flew. I might mention that I stood still and did not try to approach too closely. The bird appeared to be circling, waiting for me to leave.  

1 comment:

  1. Very timely blog - we had a Ross's Gull in Prescott, Wi
    last weekend which was also a vagrant therefore accidental.
    Many got to see it but it appeared healthy at first but then less so. Attempts were made to rehab but failed. Vagrants live a dangerous life!! Thanks for this script