Showing posts from April, 2015

White Wednesday

Last Wednesday afternoon was a spectacular one along the West Haven shoreline. I celebrated taking (and let's just assume *passing*) my board re-certification that morning by enjoying a couple lunchtime margaritas with a friend followed by some time in the sand with my gear. Bright sun and temps well into the 60s had quite a few people doing the same...most minus cameras and scopes though... Other than the killer "Kamchatka" MEW GULL at Oyster River , which obviously would have made the day (week? month?) in itself, the afternoon was dominated by a few quality white birds. This "Kumlien's" ICELAND GULL at Bradley Point showed well and was quite aggressive towards the nearby similarly-sized Herring Gulls. first cycle "Kumlien's" Iceland Gull Julian Hough joined me later in the afternoon as we unsuccessfully tried to relocate the Kam Gull. We did, however, have a late SNOWY OWL appear out of nowhere on one of the rocky islets jus

Apr 15 - MEW GULL in West Haven/Milford, CT (apparent Kamchatka Gull)

The winter/spring of 2014-15 has been a fascinating one for Mew Gulls in the northeastern United States. In addition to a few "Common" Mew Gulls ( Larus canus canus , from Europe), which has traditionally been the expected form in the region, there have been one or two "Short-billed" Mew Gulls ( L. c. brachyrynchus , from NW North America) in coastal New York, a very convincing "Kamchatka" Mew Gull ( L. c. kamchatschensis , from NE Asia) candidate in Massachusetts, plus a couple of more confusing individuals as well. With any form of Mew Gull being rare in these parts, these birds tend to be closely scrutinized whenever found. It is obvious that we are getting Mew Gulls from all different directions around here, which makes the process of identification even more challenging and ridiculously interesting. Case in point, on April 10th Mayn Hipp and Mike Warner located an adult Mew Gull at Southport Beach, CT. Mayn obtained some nice images through the fo

Little Gull in Milford, CT

Any day with a Little Gull is a good day. So, today was a good day. I arrived at the mouth of the Oyster River this morning to find just a handful of Bonaparte's Gulls on the exposed flats. Soon, though, a stream of Bonies began to arrive with a basic-plumaged adult LITTLE GULL among them. While most of the flock settled in after bathing, the flock took flight and the Little Gull plus a few of the Bonies peeled off and flew westward down the coast. A couple hours later I was able to relocate the bird with Tina Green and Jory Teltser (life bird for Jory!) just around the corner at Merwin Point. The bird was plankton feeding among a rather distant mixed flock of gulls. There were at least 200 Bonaparte's Gulls in the immediate area this morning, which is up from a few days ago. It is clear that Bonaparte's are currently widespread yet scattered along the central and western Connecticut coast, and they are likely moving around quite a bit. Finding them can be a bit of a