New England Coastal BIrds

New England Coastal BIrds

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Part 2- "New Wings on the Beach" continues.....

                 "New Wings on the Beach"  Circle Beach  continues.....

      Both 2nd cycle Iceland Gulls stayed close to the beach often in the water.....

     .....and also flying in small circles just off the small breaking waves.-

       2nd cycle #2 (no barring on the tertials and wing coverts, and a broken black marking on the
   tip of the bill)-

      2nd cycle Iceland Gull #1 (showing the barring on the tertials and wing coverts, and a complete dark tip on the bill)-

     Both of the 2nd cycle Gulls together in the same images. (Gull #1-left, Gull #2- right with ope wings)-

         Gull #2-

     Gull #2 (top) and Gull #1 (bottom)-

    Gull #1 (foreground) and Gull #2 ( background). This image shows the comparison of the tail markings between the two Gulls-

     Gull #1-

      Can you find Iceland Gull #1 in this image?-

     Gull #2 takes a bath-

     Gull #2-

     Gull #2 flies in again. Good images for studying the profile of this slightly heavier Gull-

     Good study of a Herring Gull stimulating its uropygial (or oil) gland-

    After I got over the initial excitement of finding two 2nd cycle Iceland Gulls, I started to realize how big this Gull was-

     After about an hour on Circle Beach with the two 2nd cycle Iceland Gulls, I hadn't seen FC. I began to wonder if it had moved on. I haven't been to this beach this winter without seeing FC regardless of the time of day that I showed up. I started scanning the flock of Gulls both in the water and standing on the beach. I didn't have to look far....FC was standing right in front of me; probably just flown in.-

      Gull #2-


     Gull #2 (center foreground) and FC (center top left)-

     While I was watching the two Gulls, I looked up just as another adult Iceland Gull was flying over the beach. I looked over and spotted FC and Gull #2- they were still standing in the same spots pictured above.

     This was a second adult Iceland Gull.....but it didn't stop, it kept flying towards Guilford Harbor. That makes four Iceland Gulls this morning. This is one of the reasons that I like windy days in February!-

       Good shot showing the large size of Gull #2. This is the largest Iceland Gull I have seen!-

     Day 7 - Sunday, February 3, Buryinghill Beach, Westport-  "White Wings of the Frozen North"-
 Last weekend, Jen and I made a trip to Westport , but we didn't find either of the Lesser Black-backed Gulls. This morning wasn't any different. The tide was low, and the beach and exposed sand bars were dotted with a  handful of Gulls, just not the one(s) we were looking for. It seemed that our timing was off again, or was it? The two Gulls were being seen daily, just not when we were there.

     Flocks of Brant were scattered along the beach to the east and stretched in small pockets to Sherwood Island. A few Gulls were flying back and forth, but none with a dark smokey gray back. I was a bit impatient this morning figuring that we missed the Lesser(s) again, so I started to leave. Jen suggested that we hang around for a little while.

     She made the correct call! About ten minutes later a flock of Gulls rose up from the reef  to the east and many of them started flying towards us.

     Just as the Gulls approached the bright sun which we were looking directly into, I saw a really large Gull. I was thinking to myself that it was a Glaucous Gull, but I only had a quick look and impression. I told Jen that I thought I just saw a Glaucous Gull and to watch the Gulls as they come out from sun. Sure enough, a huge nearly all white Gull with broad wings glided towards the beach and landed near the tip of the jetty. I looked over to Jen, and the look she gave me said enough, I didn't have to hear "See, aren't you glad we waited"! The Glaucous Gull was a nice gift!-

    The Glaucous Gull stayed for a few minutes and then flew a few yards to the west across the creek mouth and joined a small group of Gull standing on the shore.-

      It remained there on the other side of the creek for about ten minutes and then flew off again to Sherwood Island....

     .....where it joined a few other Gulls and a small flock of Brant.-

     On the way back to the car, I glanced over to the right, and standing there in the shallow water near shore was a Lesser Black-backed Gull.-

     The Gull started walking to the beach when it stopped.....

     .....and picked up a small Shore Crab.-

     Looking across the creek to Sherwood Island, the Glaucous Gull had moved up onto the beach to rest.-

     This Lesser Black-backed Gull is smaller than the usual winter resident Lesser Black-backed.-

     This Gull being smaller is also more compact. It lacks the usually "long" look of this species.-

     The Glaucous Gull was still there when we left, it was now feeding along the waters edge.-

    There were good numbers of waterfowl in the creek, including numerous Gadwall-

    CT DEP neck collars were seen and a half dozen Canada Geese-

     Two drake Wigeon swim by-

     Circle Beach- We stopped by Jen's parents house to drop off a Pepe's pizza. Since Circle Beach was just down the road from them, we made a quick stop. FC was standing on the rocks at the beginning of Circle Beach Rd.-

     It flew down the street to Circle Beach to join the rest of the Gulls.-

     Nice sequence of shots as FC swims through a small breaking wave.-

     Nice portrait of a handsome Gull.-

              Part 3 - "Here Comes the Larids" continues-

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