Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Miss one gull - get another

The day started for John and me at our house in Norfolk where the birding gods favored us with a surprise visit to the Lafayette River behind our house of a Pacific Loon, my second at the house, the other coming in November 2006. Buoyed by that sighting, we decided to make a run to Chincoteague to try for the Black-headed Gull that had been seen sporadically. On the way north we picked up Ned Brinkley. The high wind and cold temperature got in our way of a deligent search along Main Street. After an hour of not finding that gull we headed to the refuge where my luck got better. On the beach road was an immature Iceland Gull (photo) which we studied awhile. Scanning the opposite side of Snow Goose pool I spotted a group of three wigeon fly in, one of which was the previously reported male Eurasian Wigeon. Several of the associated ducks in the pool were also new for the year. On the wildlife drive we found few Snow Geese and definitely no Ross's Goose, but there were 8 conspicuous large white birds that turned out to be White Pelicans. Six of them got up and flew south. Five of those flyers are shown in the photo to the left. On the way back home after a gas and my requisite coffee stop we saw an American Woodcock in the gloaming fly out over Hwy 13.  The year's total now stands at 108, with Northern Shoveler being the 100th bird.
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  1. Best of luck to you and John. Have a great time on your journey! You've got a great start.

    Glad to see that your photo on the header was taken at the Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR. I hope you get many good birds at the refuge.


  2. Hi John,
    I just returned from Santa Cruz Island yesterday, where the ISSJ's will be waiting for you! Let me know when you plan to visit — I'll be happy to comp your boat ride with Island Packers []. Best to you in the Big Year!
    Marla Daily
    Santa Cruz Island Foundation