Westmoreland Park.

Yesterday turned out to be so nice that I decided to take Jake out to Westmoreland Park to finally find myself a Eurasian Wigeon (or two)  and work on some gull ID. 

Amazingly the wigeons were rather easy to find...

And the female...

They really stand out in the crowd!

And now for some gulls... If you know anything about gulls please take a look at these and let me know if I'm wrong about any of them!  This is my first real attempt at distinguishing them...

The Ring-billed Gull is probably the easiest one for me to figure out- not a lot of gulls at the park have yellow legs and light eyes...

The next one looks like a Herring Gull:

This might be same bird, from my second trip around the pond (with a Glaucous-winged friend):

And these look like Glaucous-winged Gulls:

Here are a bunch of gulls with what looks like a Western Gull in front:

Ok and then there's this gull:

Dark iris, pale legs, and the beak markings lead me to a less-streaky 2nd winter California Gull.  Or am I giving too much importance to the color of the legs?

And one last gull photo just because I love how it came out...

I love the fall colors from the trees reflected in the pond...  Makes me want a hot toddy!


  1. The Eurasian Wigeon looks exactly like the picture in my field guide! I clicked into the picture of the male a few times. I really like the green tint around the eyes. Eurasian Wigeons could actually be around Northern VA so I will have to keep my eyes open for them.

  2. Cool Jen! I've never been to Westmoreland Park. Looks like I may have to. I have been Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens which I think is nearby. Nice pictures!

  3. Seems to me like your gull ID is ok Jen, as are your pics, but I can't help with Californian Gull, as we don't get any in NW UK.

  4. Some nice photos. If you think you're bad at ID's take a look at my site.Boom and I have been at it for about a year.

  5. You've progressed to gulls!? Really!? They are so hard that I have not even tried. John Rakestraw is your guy if you need ID help...he loves himself a nice gull ID. ;) Nice photos as always!

  6. Ha, I'm not sure I've "progressed" to gulls, but they do sit still (when Jake's not lunging at them) and it seemed like I could at least TRY to ID them... Definitely not that confident about it though!

  7. You are VERY brave to try to ID gulls! All my bird friends in Cape May were like, "ah, it's just a gull--I'm not gonna bother!" But I too like to know as much as I can!

    Have you seen Bill Thompson III's Identify Yourself? There's a section in there on gulls, as well as lots of other ID challenges. You should get a copy!

  8. Your gull IDs are spot on. The Western Gull has a little smudging on the head, indicating there is probably some Glaucous-winged heritage in there somewhere. A "pure" Western, if there is such a thing, should have a pristine white head. On the California, the long thin bill and bluish-gray legs are pretty diagnostic. I can't take Nala to Westmoreland. She takes a great interest in duck poop.

  9. @John: Thank you so much for taking a look at these photos! I'm happy to know I'm on the right track. Jake is mildly interested in duck poop, but horse poop is his favorite.

    @dguzman: I will have to find that book! I can use any help I can get!

  10. "I will have to find that book! I can use any help I can get!"

    Couldn't we all! If you're interested tomorrw night up at the Audubon Society Harry Nehls in giving a class on gull identification. Here


  11. Nice shots of the EUWI - I'm jealous. They rarely show up in the east. Good study of the gulls, but I've leave them entirely for you to identify. Have enough trouble getting all the ages on the east coast ones without trying to work on the west coast ones until I get another trip in your area.


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