Monday, January 23, 2012

Finally, A Gull That Stands Out In The Crowd!

We had our first snow storm of the year this weekend so I decided that Hammonasset would be a convenient place to see if I could add some species to my January list. They do a good job clearing the roads at Hammonasset after it snows and new birds can show up there at any time. I started the day with a walk along the Moraine trail and found a flock of gulls that were actively feeding near the shoreline.
I don't have the patience to spend a lot of time studying gulls like  but I have tried I've to make a habit of searching through larger flocks hoping to find something different. On this particular morning, I noticed one particular gull that was mostly white and had an all dark bill. That fits the description of an Iceland Gull but I'm not sure of the age. (1st winter-2nd winter-anyone?). It's so nice to see a gull that looks different from all the other around it. I've seen a couple before but this is the first one that I found on my own.  
There was a good number of shorebirds along with the gulls. I was able to add a few new species to the list including Fox Sparrow but the Iceland Gull  was my most rewarding find of the morning.
video
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Here's a video of the Iceland Gull swimming with the other gulls

Note: My species count is currently at 83 for the month. I'm hoping to reach 90 but time is running out.

14 comments:

Larry said...

It is nice to find a gull that truly looks different!

Larry said...

Larry-For a minute there I thought I posted to myself!

Chris said...

Excellent post Larry! Very funny!

Ruth said...

There are Iceland Gulls in the Walmart parking lot near our home. A local birder helped me ID it as well as a Glaucous Gull. Here are his pictures and comments on our local forum if you are interested.

http://www.naturesbestcreations.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=6766&p=35230&sid=31ebda4b3246b9a5852c01d09c5d4794#p35230

hobgoblin said...

Neat post.

Larry said...

Chris-thanks

Ruth-They say you can find just about everything at Walmart but never imagined they have Gluacous and Iceland Gulls in their inventory!

Nice to know that Hobgoblins are reading my posts.

Hilke Breder said...

Beautiful photos! So lively and well in focus - for a moment I thought I was looking at one of Crossley's plates. I think the Iceland Gull is a first winter bird. During the second winter the black is confined mostly to the tip.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Larry, thank you very much for visiting my blog :-)

Lovely gull captures. I live in a landlocked area and about as far as it is possible to be from the sea in England so I don't get to see many gulls apart from some at the local reservoirs. They sure can be difficult to identify when I do see them though!

Kathiesbirds said...

Larry, great pic of the Iceland gull. I can tell you that you are already the winner of Big January for birds seen in your own state. Ruth has us all beat with a combined total from Mexico and Canada. Let me know what your final numbers are and I will post them on my blog! I ended up with 66 species for Massachusetts and 68 overall with a Turkey vulture seen in CT and Northern Hawk Owl seen in Maine this past weekend! Robert Mortenson has 65 species.

Larry said...

Hilke-Thanks-It seems to be a little easier to get good pics at the shore.

ShySongbird-Most of our lcal experts around here do most of teir gull study at the dump.Gulls love people garbage!

Kathiebirds-I thought I would hit my goal but I fizzled out in the end.I think my final number is 86
0r 87.I'll have to doublecheck.

Yolaa said...

1Let me know what your final numbers are and I will post them on my blog! I ended up with 66 species for Massachusetts and 68 overall with a Turkey vulture seen in CT and Northern Hawk Owl seen in Maine this past weekend! Robert Mortenson has 65 species.

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