Skip to Content

Gull: Franklin's

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

Moderator: hilda

User avatar
Johann
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 939
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:29 am
Location: Stuck in Gauteng

Gull: Franklin's

Unread postby Johann » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:20 pm

I was quite happy to twitch this one. At least it didn't get away like some in the past. Thought I'll post some pics so we all know what we went running after. (I forgot the tri-pod at home. Pics could've been better)

Image

Image
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea Laeveldklappertjie

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5483
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Re: Franklins Gull in Pretoria

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:10 am

My contribution... the difference between itself and the Grey-headed gull can also clearly be seen.

Image
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2014)
Posts: 2619
Awards: Birder of the Year (2014) & Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Franklin's Gull

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:06 pm

Franklin's Gull, Larus pipixcan

The unexpected appearance of this gull at Centurion has given many a birder one of the easiest ticks on his / her life list ever! The bird is very much at home at this spot and will most likely be hanging around for a while. Just don’t ask me why… this water body is a real vrotgat! (stink hole). Wildtuinman helped me navigate through the Pretoria peak hour traffic to a relatively quiet spot next to the water and within five minutes he had located the bird. Thanks for a nice one, WTM :wink:

For an in-depth read, check out this link.

It is not unusual for the Franklin’s gull to hang around away from the coast… in their usual haunts back in Canada and the USA that is exactly where they are found – mainly some way off the coast!

Image
Large view

The Franklin's Gull is unique among gulls in having two complete molts each year rather than one. This is an adaptation in order to maintain their status as one of the world champion long-distance migrants. They need new, strong feathers in order to meet the demands of their 8000-kilometre flights. After nesting in the central provinces of Canada and adjacent states of the northern USA, they undergo a complete molting of their feathers, then fly south to the coast of Texas, and continue south along the Caribbean coast of Mexico. From there they make an overland flight across to the Pacific Coast which they follow all the way to southern Peru and northern Chile. After spending the winter there, they undergo another complete feather molt, and follow the same migration route in reverse.

Rare vagrants fly to northwest Europe, south and west Africa, Australia and Japan. Some records exist around the coastline of South Africa, but this sighting made at Centurion is only the 2nd inland record.

Young birds are similar to the adult but have less developed hoods and lack the white wing band. They take three years to reach maturity. This bird is in non-breeding adult plumage.

Like most gulls they are omnivorous, eating insects, earthworms, fish, mice, garbage and seeds. They forage while walking or swimming and sometimes hawk insects on the wing.
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

User avatar
JenB
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 18217
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.
Contact:

Re: Franklins Gull in Pretoria

Unread postby JenB » Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:05 pm

We took a Sunday arvie drive to Centurion and found the little rascal! :D
Image
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

User avatar
Rusty Justy
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2626
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:11 pm
Location: Sunninghill(JHB), Vaalwater & Beauty(Waterberg), Grahamstown(E.C)

Re: Franklin's Gull

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:59 pm

Here's my snap shot :)

Image
:dance: STIFFNECKS MEMBER :dance:

FGASA LEVEL 1


Return to “Birding in Southern Africa”