[CT Birds] The Small Gulls

Dennis Varza dennisvz at optonline.net
Mon Jan 7 12:25:32 EST 2008

Hi Folks,

Here is the last installment of my review of the gulls from last winter.

  The Small Gulls, Bonaparte’s, Black-headed and Little Gulls

Bonaparte’s Gull
Most people think of Bonaparte’s in terms of their spring migration  
and being the matrix from which to pick out the jewels of the rare  
gulls. In reality they can be found in any month of the year. After  
the spring migration there is a little increase in late July and  
early August then a regular occurrence from the end of October to the  
spring migration. For the spring migration, I wanted to correlate  
numbers with weather conditions and the number of rare gulls seen,  
but I lacked the data. Too many people did not report numbers, They  
give numbers on the rare gulls with no reference to these gulls. By  
paying attention to the common species it will help understanding the  
rare ones.

The migration started on  24 March and ended on  29 April. In most  
cases the birds numbered 500 birds or less. The only numbers greater  
than 500 included:
05 Apr 07	 600	Stamford, Holly Pond
10 Apr 07	900	Stratford, Long Beach
12 Apr 07	1200	Stamford, Cove Island Park
13 Apr 07	2000	Stamford, Cove Island Park
17 Apr 07	550	Greenwich,  Greenwich Point

A review of notes in the past, particularly when the Ross’ Gull was  
seen in Milford had Several thousand gulls around for a month.

Black-headed Gull
Besides being seen in spring migration, there seems to be small but  
regular numbers from November to migration. Weatherfields Cove had  
what I presume to be a resident bird from 19 December to 17 January  
of last year.  One year I had a bird spend the summer in the Least  
Tern colony at Long Beach Stratford.

Last Year, the gulls were seen from 24 March to 17 April and only 1  
or 2 birds reported at at time. In the past 4-5 birds at a time could  
be found.

Little Gull
This species is the most limited in terms of time seen in Connecticut  
(March April and May). Last year birds occurred from 25 March to 14  
April. Only 1-2 birds were seen at a time.  Stamford, Holly Pond,  
Westport Compo Beach, Fairfield, Southport Beach, Milford, Oyster  
River to Merwin Pt., Old Saybrook, Suth Cove.

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