Thursday, December 18, 2008

12/18 - Common Eider, Cackling Goose, gulls

On my way home from eastern Mass early this morning, I stopped at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford. The front gates were closed so I had to walk in, which turned into a good thing when I pished up two Eastern Towhees across the street from the park entrance. The only bird of note on the water was a female COMMON EIDER, pictured below.




female Common Eider @ Harkness SP

While male eiders are easily told apart, female eiders are a bit more tricky. Compare this Common to the female King Eider from Milford Pt on Thanksgiving.

From the coast I headed inland to the Windsor-Bloomfield Landfill, where Brian Klienman was already gulling when I arrived at 10am. James P. Smith soon joined us. Brian left later in the morning but James and I continued working the gull flocks until 2pm. Highlights here were 3 Glaucous Gulls, 2 "Kumlien's" Iceland Gulls, and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull (Brian saw a second LBBG).








The 3 first-winter Glaucous Gulls stole the show here, especially this snow-white individual.


first-winter "Kumlien's" Iceland Gull




The above two images are of an immature "Kumlien's" Iceland Gull...is this an advanced first-winter or a retarded second-winter? I'm leaning second-winter despite the dark eye and mostly dark bill, but I really don't know.


adult Lesser Black-backed Gull

Before finally getting home, I checked on a few local ponds and fields in a sorry attempt at scouting for Saturday's CBC. Upon getting out of my car at Lake Wepawaug, several dozen Canada Geese took flight from the water. I heard a higher-pitched call in the flock and quickly picked out a Cackling Goose as it flew low overhead. Also, one of the Canadas in the flock had a yellow neckband with 'GIT' in black letters. I wonder if this is a Greenland bird like the ones seen in Wallingford recently.

- Nick

4 comments:

  1. HI Nick,
    A beautiful serie of pictures. We also have the Common Eider in Iceland, but they are more colorful... Thanks for the nice pictures and explanations on the gulls...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Nick,
    Love this sight. I'm interested in IDing gulls better and was wondering if you could ID a couple pics:

    1) Is this an Iceland Gull? Taken at Jamaica Pond in Boston.

    http://www.whatbird.com/forums/photos/neefs_gallery/picture70024.aspx

    2) What's up with the eye spot on this gull? This was taken in CT:

    http://www.whatbird.com/forums/forums/storage/10/72098/gull.jpg

    email: erickneipfer@yahoo.com

    I have a few more but I don't want to push it! :) Thanx!

    -Eric Kneipfer

    ReplyDelete
  3. Crap, the links have been cut off.

    If you ever have time email me and I'll forward the pics to you to ID.

    -Eric

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'll try once more:

    1) Is this an Iceland Gull? Taken at Jamaica Pond in Boston.

    http://www.whatbird.com/forums/photos/neefs_gallery/picture70024.aspx

    2) What's up with the eye spot on this gull? This was taken in CT:

    http://www.whatbird.com/forums/forums/storage/10/72098/gull.jpg

    email: erickneipfer@yahoo.com

    -Eric Kneipfer

    ReplyDelete