Showing posts from March, 2017

*Happy Mew Gull Day 2017!* - Kamchatka Gull and Thayer's-type thing

Happy Mew Gull Day, everybody. America's new favorite holiday, narrowly edging out Festivus. I realized last year, after a two Mew Gull day , that all three Mews I had found in CT happened to fall on March 20th. Odd. So this year I made a point of gulling on the same date. Fully aware that I was introducing observer bias,  I was still shocked when one appeared. And the kicker - of those four March 20th birds, three subspecies have been involved (two canus, one brachy, one Kam). I didn't look any harder for Mew Gull today than I do on any other gull excursion, of which there are many at this time of year...yet today was still the day I ran into one. Pretty great coincidence. I actually think this might be the same Kamchatka Gull from April 2015 (which, as it turns out thanks to photo review, had been seen on Nantucket earlier that winter and likely the winter before too! Very cool to track vagrants like that.). At first glance it looks pretty identical overall, except that

Barrow's Goldeneye - Madison, CT

A drake BARROW'S GOLDENEYE is wintering in the Tuxis Island, Madison area for the third year in a row. Yesterday I finally went to take a look for the first time this winter. After scanning offshore from two vantage points and not seeing it, we found the bird very close to shore while driving the coastal road. A treat to see this locally scarce species so well. Barrow's Goldeneye  - NB

CTYBC Gull Trip

On Sunday March 12th four very hardy and intrepid members of the Connecticut Young Birders Club joined me for a full day of gulling along the Connecticut coast. We should be approaching peak gull diversity over the next few weeks thanks to the annual late winter/early spring Long Island Sound plankton bloom, an event I've mentioned so many times here. During the first two weeks of this year's event numbers have been building but diversity has been very slow to follow. This is often the case during the first half of March. Diversity usually peaks, I'd say, between March 20 and April 10 or thereabouts. So far this season Lesser Black-backed Gulls have yet to make any migratory push through the region as only the known wintering adults have been reported, and all white-winged gulls have been unusually hard to come by. It seemed to be a down winter for first cycle Iceland Gulls in CT, so perhaps that shouldn't be of much surprise. Anyway, on this day the weather felt mor