A rare BLACK-TAILED GULL was seen at the Parksville Community Park around noon on Wednesday November 19 2008.
Report by Christopher Stephens:
Hi all, seeing the report from Courteny of a Black tailed Gull, I thought it would be worth checking out the Parksville community park to see if there was anything of interest. In the volleyball sandpit near the gazebo was a group of California and other gulls, and in with them sharply stood out a a gull with yellow legs, slightly smaller than California's, with a noticeably darker back, about intermediate between breeding and winter plumage, with BRIGHT YELLOW EYES, AND A BILL TIP THAT WAS SOLID DEEP RED WITH A LITTLE BIT OF BLACK. The bird had a "lower to the ground, I guess shorter legs, than the Californiagulls.the flock flushed, circled around, and most of them landed back in the volleyball sandpit. I couldn't see the bird among them as they landed.It could be anywhere in the several reasonably sized groups of gulls in the park. The big gull roosts are on the volleyball sandpit, the roof of the old skating rink, and the little island just of the "point" of the park. also check the playground, lamps, and the road.
Second report from Christopher Stephens:
Hi all, I just went down to the Parksville Community Park with my camera to try for a photo of the BLACK TAILED GULL. It was out on the gravel bar/island in the south side of Parksville Bay. The bird flew out of the flock of California Gulls roosting there, giving me great views of it's bright white tail with WIDE BLACK BAND the bird settled in the water, and I got a few distant shots. I will post a couple on here soon. I lost track of the the bird again, and I believe it may have flown down to the second gravel bar a few hundred meters south, just off the Englishman River Estuary, in front of the R.V park. the two gravel bars are the gulls day roosts it seems, if you come early in the morning when there is little human disturbance, you can see many of the gulls on the volleyball sandpit in the field beside the skate park,which is easier than looking through the birds on the gravel bar. That is how I saw the bird originally.
Any further sightings or reports would be appreciated.