CSI Thayer’s

Regular readers will know of my search, ok obsession, with seeing Thayer’s Gull in Nova Scotia and how, quite recently (January-15th) I did, when one found by Alix d’Entremont at Dennis Point Wharf, Lower West Pubnico, made an evening appearance. That bird has been very elusive and only seen for certain on a handful of dates despite much gulling. I have tried for another view several times without success and I’ve searched our gull throng on CSI with similar luck, until today.

It being February 1st it was necessary to get out, just like any other day really. I have rather neglected CSI recently, making just quick sorties although having some luck. As I checked West Head, Newellton today it was mainly to get Glaucous Gull for the month and to see whether a recent Black-headed Gull was still around. It was snowing heavily when I arrived so I opted for car-bound observation. Scanning the gulls, I was drawn to an adult Iceland type gull. I say type as the regular Iceland Gulls are Kumlien’s, this one had a hint of nominate glaucoides about it. Proving it to be an Iceland Gull and not a Kumlien’s (and I am assuming you know what I mean here) required a decent view of the wings, preferably via a digital image, so I spent time snapping as it wheeled amongst the other gulls. I kept losing it and so switched to the bins to pick it up again. On the fourth such time I raised the bins and saw a Thayer’s Gull.

The Thayer’s was hard to track as it stayed on the opposite side of the pipe I was viewing, frequently drifting well out of sight. It took about five circuits of the bird before I got a wing shot which allowed me to see the diagnostic primary pattern. Then I made calls and set about getting more documentation, results below.

Mike arrived quickly and saw the bird well, Sandra a little later and missed it. I’m not sure whether Johnny got there was we started a search, meaning we left the main area, and may have missed him. Unfortunately the bird was nowhere around, and we looked hard for it, here are the photos. A careful analysis of the bill pattern by Alix strongly suggests it is the Pubnico bird, perhaps no surprise given that Thayer’s Gull is a genuine rarity in Nova Scotia.

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Earlier I saw this Herring Gull along Island Bait Road, very white headed as some are becoming now.

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The day before I’d had a bit of time at Dennis Point, here are a few photos with comments.

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Two different Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

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Above, a neat Kumilen’s. Below, the right hand bird looks interesting, same bird dipping showing just limited enthusiasm for being a Thayer’s.

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Below and inbetweener, best left at that, I didn’t see or photograph the open wings.

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