Hello All:
I observed and photographed what I believe to be a 1st cycle CALIFORNIA GULL this morning at Smithville Lake(Clay County, MO). The bird was seen in the Camp Branch area, doing laps above the cove north of the bridge and perching on the boatslips near the marina. Going out on a limb here, but I believe this bird is albertaensis(paler, bulkier interior subspecies), rather than californicus(darker, more slender west coast subspecies). The photos show the "double wingbar" clearly, with very dark outer primaries and a minimal-to-nonexistant mirror. The underwing is very dark. Mantle(barely coming in) is not as dark as one would expect for CAGU. Bill is bulky and bicolored, but not sharply demarcated. Pinkish legs, appearing lighter at the knee joints. Sorry I can't remember more, but in a hurry to get to work. This is a tricky bird to find, amongst the first-year HEGU's.
Wanted to get the info out, in case anyone cares to chase this bird in the good evening light.
I'll try and get the pix viewable sometime tonight or tomorrow.
Good Birding,
Doug Willis
Liberty, MO
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P.S.Had 1 Franklin's Gull near the marina, also.

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