We recently received one of only a handful of reports of an Appledore gull in Florida. On December 29, 2009 Cole Fredricks and his wife observed and photographed a banded first year Herring Gull at Shell Point in Wakulla County, Florida. Cole posted his photos on BRDBRAIN, a Florida list-serve for birders.
This bird was banded in July 2009 and, therefore, dispersed from Maine to Florida (over ~1100 miles) during its first few months off the breeding island.
Speaking of Florida, the Annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival is coming up, January 27 – February 1, 2010 in Titusville, FL. It will be a huge festival with some outstanding speakers (see the website: http://www.nbbd.com/fly/). Also, of particular note for larophiles is the North American Gull Conference (NAGC), which will be held in conjunction with the Festival. There has not been a national gathering of birders who are dedicated to watching and studying gulls since the last NAGC 10 years ago! One of the field trips for the NAGC is to Daytona Beach Shores, the “gull mecca” of central Florida. Daytona Beach Shores is also where the Appledore Lesser Black-backed Gull (“F05”) was observed last January by Alvaro Jaramillo, Bob Wallace, and Michael Brothers who were leading a gull field trip as part of last year’s Space Coast Birding festival!