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Today August 20, 2023

Ft Stevens State Park, OR South Jetty, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Columbia River.

We were just doing some jetty and sea watching when a nice new birder I met yesterday noted a gull coming in at us over the jetty (from water to land). It came in along the jetty then veered off to the north of the jetty. It was coming right at us and in pretty poor distance and bright light, so...lousy photos. Unfortunately the jetty has been under construction for the last couple of years and won't be done for a couple more, and the bird diverted to an area that is either a 2 mile walk or drive I don't like to do on the sand (lots of Snowy Plovers and places to get stuck), because access to the jetty is currently cut off just beyond the parking area, so no way to really chase it, though I'm planning to go out tomorrow to see if it is still around.

This photo has a good look at the black edge of the tail at least.


And this one the wing coloration.



Her first thought was Sabine's, and our eBird reviewer met up with us just a minute or two after the bird had gone out of site, and Black-legged Kittiwake was another theory. I think there is too much dark color at the end of the wings for Bonaparte's.

I've only ever seen Sabine's once, in Wyoming, and never open winged for either really at good range, so thought I would see what other's think.

Maybe can't be determined, but either way worth a shot. Sabine's would be a nice find here.


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Structure, along with upperwing and underwing pattern is more suggestive of a young Sabine's Gull than that of BLKI or BOGU. But, the photos are really tough. This is a call on your part as to what to report it as. If you had good looks in the field through binoculars or a scope, those observations could go a long way in supporting the ID. Or, you could be conservative and not call it to species based on these few poor photos.

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Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. The pattern is what pushed me in the direction of Sabine's as well.

The other birder with me got good looks through bins, and she was the one who noted the bird based on differences from the rest, so a lot is going into the report as well.

On another note, yesterday I went back out to the beach/river side of the jetty, spending almost 5 hours in the area mostly watching the gull and tern flock near the jetty hoping it might still be around and come in again. It did not, but a lifer Arctic Tern came in and landed about 20 ft away from me, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

Thanks again, I do appreciate the comments and guidance!

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