Today I was driving south through Portland and I noticed a large number of gulls in and around Back Bay, a popular walking and jogging trail in the center of the city.
Then I noticed an enormous almost perfectly white bird. Most of the Gulls we find in Maine have black wing-tips (which appears to be a black tail when the wings are folded). The all-white Gulls are either sporadic Iceland Gulls or the huge, aggressive and uncommon . . . Glaucous Gull.
This particular white bird had a large pink bill with a black tip, the field mark of a first winter Glaucous Gull!!!
It has been a windy morning, and that is what kept the gulls on the grass . . . and I was able together very close to the Glaucous. When a dog spooked the gulls into the air I was able to stand within a few feet of the Glaucous as it flew into the wind . . . not moving!!!
I had seen a number of Glaucous Gulls over the years, but never this close and for this long.