Saturday, July 20, 2013

gulls and golf- radio puzzle

Today while I was driving across town I tuned in to a golf tournament on ESPN radio.  I am normally not much for radio golf, but before I turned the dial I noticed a gull calling in the background.

I had no idea where the golf match was being played, but was perplexed because it was a major tournament (Tiger Woods, etc), and yet the gull sounded neither like the Laughing Gulls that dominate the southeastern USA this time of year, nor was it low enough pitch for the Western Gulls that I would expect in California.  I was intrigued, and the commentators twice went so far as to mention the gulls' presence on the course.

Where could this be, and what gull species?

I pulled up the ESPN website when I got home this evening, and watched their nine minute segment on the gold tournament.  Then came the first clue- it was the Open Championship, in Scotland!   My horizons had been too narrow.

Having been to Scotland three summers ago, and seen that Lesser Black-backed Gull was the gull most often seen around people there in mid summer, I immediately suspected that it was the culprit.  Fortunately, 49 seconds into the ESPN segment, a gull flies through the air space above the leader board.  Pausing it at the right second shows it to indeed be an adult Lesser Black-back.  Bingo!

Can  I count it on my "live broadcast" bird list, if I only identified it on the video afterwards?

Here is the segment


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