Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Little Gull, a catch-up bird

The VSO field trip to the Outer Banks of NC officially began last night with a nice presentation by Jerry Via and Bill Akers and a compilation of species seen so far.  The pelagic trip added quite a few species to the trip list.  Today, after breakfast, we assembled on the raised deck behind the motel to scan the ocean for birds.  It was a bit foggy, but cleared up slowly during the following hour.  There were large numbers of Northern Gannets and Bonaparte's Gulls with other gulls and a few scoters.  One of the other gulls turned out to be an Iceland Gull in second winter plumage with a bit of silvery mantle showing.  Out over the breakers a small gull caught Jerry's eye (web photo).  I got on the bird; it turned out to be an adult Little Gull in winter plumage with its black underwings flashing.  This was a bird all of yesterday's participants on the pelagic trip had missed after Brian had sighted it.  After the gull disappeared to the north, the group reassembled in the parking lot, loaded up, and headed south to Pea Island NWR.  We tarried a bit, then caught up with the group at the south end of the Oregon Inlet bridge where they were looking at a Common Eider.  In the watery road edges there were Dunlin, a Short-billed Dowitcher, Semi-palmated Plovers, Wilson Snipe, and a Killdeer.  Further down on the refuge were Snow Geese, 3 White Pelicans, Western Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs, and Tundra Swans.  A couple of Bald Eagles kept the waterfowl on the move.  Toward noon we broke away and started toward Norfolk with stops on the way to get some fresh fish and to pick up sunflower seed at the Cape Henry Audubon Society's birdseed sale.  It snowed most of the way home and was still snowing when we arrived at my home.  The snow raised  questions about our flying to Arizona on Monday since our flights go through Dulles which was closed today.  Ah well!  All part of the great adventure.  Tomorrow we'll bird locally.  My total species list now stands at 292.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh, Little Gull! Now I feel better! Hey, if the planes are canceled to Arizona, maybe South Texas is worth a 'quickie' again? Crimson-collared Grosbeak, Roadside Hawk ..?