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Andrew,
Your MYSTERY BIRD sounds just like the bird Chris Brown and I saw a couple weeks ago from the M-P Dam (also believe Bill Rowe's group had a similar bird at Columbia Bottoms the day after us)  Our bird had the Adult LBB's mantle, flesh colored legs, black bill with yellow tip and red gonydal spot.  According to Grant's "Gulls"--Page 104, as high as 3% of 4th winter Lesser Black Backed Gulls have fleshy legs, and those with fleshy colored legs usually also have dark on the bill of variable extent.

Josh Uffman
St. Louis County, MO

"Andrews, Matthew E" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Spent most of the day in the REDA area today, highlights were:

GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL-1 1w/2w seen in the water from the dam museum parking lot
ICELAND GULL-1 1w gull seen from the illinois side at first but was on the far wall, and dropped down to the water on the other side, I later went over to the other side and had great looks of the bird flying around and swimming in the river, still an ilinois bird, but a lifer for me
THAYER'S GULL-1 adult bird viewed in the water from the dam museum parking lot

MYSTERY GULL- I had a bird at the bridge terminal road area that at first I was sure was an ADULT LESSER BLACK-BACKED, but then upon closer inspection I noticed that the bird had PINK LEGS, has anyone ever seen a lesserbb with this feature or could this bird be something even more unusual? I looked at some more gulls in the flock then came back to it and it was gone, but then latter while looking through a flock on the MISSOURI SIDE I relocated the bird. I am sure that this bird will stay in the area at least through the weekend and I would really appreciate it if somebody with better knowledge of gulls would go check this bird out, since it has the dark back it is usually easy to pick out. The bird had the smaller size of a LBB but those legs are really bugging me!

Waterfowl numbers were WAY down due to lack of open water, I had canvasback, common and hooded merg., ruddy, common goldeneye, both scaup and bufflehead, but there were actually only a couple hundred ducks. There were about a hundred dabblers flying around with some on the ground near the slough by 143

I later spent 2 1/2 hours looking for lapland longspurs and found plenty of horned larks but no longspurs, however I did locate the TRUMPETER SWANS in a corn field over by west alton, there were 65 of them and I was able to pick out one TUNDRA SWAN. Also does anybody know what the RED collars on the trumpeters mean? are they from some other introduction program or are they "wild"? one of the birds had a red collar and I have only ever seen yellow collars on these birds, I have heard about birds in western missouri and the plains states with red collars...???

Thanks for responses, I 'm sure there are a lot more unusual gulls out there because there are thousands of gulls out on the ice, great time to get to REDA! thanks again

Matt Andrews
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Joshua Uffman
St. Louis County, MO
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