Not Just Gulls

Well, actually it mostly is at the moment. January has proved to be ok but not wow, which is fine, we can do wow later when it is warm enough to enjoy it. The weather has not been terrible, except for the recent south-westerly storm with ripping winds and 24-hour rain. The birds got bashed, especially things like Dovekies, but that is the way of things. We have yet to see the arrival of Thick-billed Murres around the Cape Sable wharves, it might yet happen, February is often the month for this sort of thing, hopefully around the time that the Ivory and Ross’s Gulls will show up.

A birthday treat – it really is getting monotonous these annual events – was to go and look at gulls at Meteghan and Sandra came too, she is ok with gulls in small bursts and The Sip Café always tempts her out. Really I just headed that way to see if the gull was there for weekenders coming down to southern Nova Scotia for the rare and scarce birds we get. That would be, besides rare gulls, the two geese, Red-shouldered Hawk and the like. We got there and it was there on the beach is about all I can say. The Kamchatka Gull is the windiest of the lot, flying first and furthest, and that after Sandra had knitted me my own Kamchatka Gull suit. I guess a near six-foot version would be off-putting for any gull. I’ll show the latest photos of it at the end (oh good you say), here is a nice photo of a male Common Eider from CSI, Saturday (1/28) just to placate Facebook.

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We seem to have a surfeit of Glaucous Gulls around CSI at present, there are usually only one or two but today’s foray (again, 1/28) around Swimm Point and West Head, Newellton produced seven, five 1stW and two adults. Here is a selection of shots of the birds with appropriate comments.

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Iceland Gulls too are building up again, we probably have over a 100 around CSI with the largest concentration at the aforementioned sites. The variation with the Kumlien’s group, our Iceland Gull is called Kumlien’s, is vast. Dark winged birds are a very small proportion while seemingly ‘pure’ Iceland (but probably not) only number a couple. In between, the primary shading and pattern seems different on each bird, interesting if you like gulls, hinting at paint drying if you don’t.

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 Here are the Kamchatka Gull shots I promised you, not great but diagnostic.

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Finally, I have been to Dennis Point a few times recently and I could show you around a hundred photos of different Kumlien’s Gulls, but I won’t. I will show you this though.

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The bird at the rear of the three, the others are both Kumlien’s, has a lot going for it in terms of Thayer’s Gull. I got two shots of it before the raft shuffled and I lost it, interesting. In my opinion, a claim of Thayer’s Gull without a photo showing the wing pattern or at least sketches and notes detailing the pattern on p5 & 6 in eastern North America should not be accepted. Tough it would be and it would mean all old records being rejected but I think it would put Thayer’s where it should be, rare and difficult to identify, just my opinion, argue if you wish.

Oh alright then, here is a slew of Herring Gulls too.

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 I’m still working on my taxonomy post, just fine-tuning now, I know you are waiting with baited breath – I should try a Tic-Tac!

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