In the last post, I reported that Michael Brothers observed the Appledore LBBG at Daytona Beach Shores, Florida. Apparently, this beach is a hotspot for gulls during the winter months. Michael sent along some stunning photographs of the huge flocks of gulls that occur here.
Michael sent the following description of this beach and its gulls:
Each evening in winter we get an astounding assemblage of gulls on the beach here. Gulls come from the landfill and many other areas in the late afternoon. They stage here until sunset, then they fly off the beach and settle on the ocean, just beyond the breakers. They stretch for miles. I have estimated that there may be 30,000 – 50,000 gulls on the beach. This is only a guess. I have tried to pace off areas and count the average bird density per meter, but it is still only a guess. I have had many of the leading birding experts in gulls from throughout the US here and this may be the largest concentration of gulls on any beach in the United States.
The majority are Laughing Gulls, with many Ring-billed Gulls. There are hundreds of Herring Gulls including many adults. We also have numerous Great Black-backed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. I am getting an increasing number of adult LBBGxHEGU hybrids. In addition we also get Bonaparte’s Gulls, Glaucous, Iceland, Thayer’s, California, and even Florida’s first Vega Gull. We also have turned lots of odd birds, including possible Slaty-backed Gull, European Herring Gulls and also possible Yellow-legged Gull.
This sounds like a fantastic place (for larophiles, that is); I encourage you all to visit. If you do, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for banded gulls of course!