UPDATE (November 2004): This bird has been accepted as a Kelp Gull by the Maryland bird records committee. A new photo of it, by Matt Orsie, is posted below (N). Thanks Matt.
On 19 February 1999 I visited the now famous adult Kelp Gull on the Patuxent River in southern Maryland. I would like to thank the discoverers and rediscoverers for finding this stunning bird.
It was a very bright sunny day, and some of my photos ended up a bit underexposed. Also, they didn't scan as well as I would like. In life the legs were a bright yellow-green. The mantle was the same shade as Great Black-backed.
When I was there, there was discussion about several features of the bird being not quite right for Kelp Gull, especially the iris color (too pale), the bill (not quite massive enough), and the legs (too brightly colored). However, Harry Armistead sent me the following quote from Robert Cushman Murphy, "Oceanic Birds of South America (Macmillan, 1936):"
I don't think that the bird is a Lesser of the race intermedius, L. fuscus intermedius. It is too big, the head and bill are too massive, the wings are too broad, the white trailing edge of the wing is too large, the primaries do not project enough, and the primary pattern is wrong.
I think that my photos give an accurate impression of the mantle color. For comparison, David H. Strother has provided a photo that he took with a digital camera at 2:30PM, February 21. It is a bit overexposed. The mantle looks too pale, but the jizz is communicated very well.
Also, Patty Craig has provided a photo (a print) that she took on January 31 with Kodak 100 Gold film.
|D, with Herring Gull.||E||F|
|G||H||I, closeup of C|
|J, left wing. The white tip of P10 is not visible.||K, right wing||L, Photo taken by David Strother with a digital camera, a bit overexposed.|
|M, Photo (print) taken by Patty Craig.||N, Photo digiscoped by Matt Orsie, 27 Nov 2004.|