With really only one totally free day left for me in the year I headed to Galveston. Of the none review birds left on my list two would be possible in Galveston. My plan was to hit East Beach then cross over to the Bolivar Peninsula and head around the bay checking all the gull spots for something unusual.
Texas City Dike
I got to East Beach about 10 am. Lots of gulls there and a lot of large gulls. The lyrics of the popular birding song "I like big gulls and I can not lie" ran through my head. I scanned through them and found nothing unusual. I noticed lots of ships on the move in the channel and some had good size gull flocks behind them. On the Freeport CBC seawatch we have occasionally have had a jaeger come in with a ship in bound. A ship was making its way inbound many be once every 20 minutes. I see maybe 1 ship a year on the Freeport CBC so a couple of hours here could equal a decade of the seawatch in potential activity. I headed to the end of the seawall where I could have a good view of the channel.
After a couple of hours I saw a small gull in a flock and the dark underwings jumped out at me. I could see the I could make out a small cap and an ear spot, and most importantly no white triangle on the wings. This had to be a Little Gull, Year Bird 503.
Left of the Buoy
Two more days left in the year for me. Who knows what could turn up. It would take some fancy footwork on my part to get to some birds now. I have left only two non-review species left on the table. If I get something else this year, its going to be a great bird.