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By Nigel
#80138
Found these two gulls together today at Soap Lake, WA. They were swimming together close to the shore pecking at the water.
The first I believe to be Bonaparte's in non breeding plumage.

Image

but the second guy was slightly bigger and doesn't seem to fit a juvenile Bonaparte's which are only in juvenile plumage July August. He seems to fit a Franklin's or Laughing gull much closer. I favor a Laughing Gull, but neither are found in central Washington (according to Sibley).

Image

Nigel
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By Birder2000
#80139
Your first bird is indeed a nonbreeding Bonaparte's Gull. The second bird is a juvenile Sabine's Gull, a very rare bird in the interior of Washington. There have been recent reports of up to two of them at Soap Lake, and it looks like you have photographed one of them. Nice work! :)
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