[CT Birds] Gull Stuff 5

Dennis Varza dennisvz at optonline.net
Tue Apr 1 16:23:11 EDT 2008

Gull Stuff 5 24 to 30 March 2008

Here are some more observations on gulls. If you have any corrections
or additions I would really appreciate them.

There were few reports of gulls this week. This poses a problem of  
interpretation. Does a “not reported” mean it was looked for and not  
seen, or does it mean not looked for? Human nature being what it is  
causes people to report what is rare and not report what is common or  
not seen. When a rare bird is seen repeatedly it is considered less  
rare and hence less reported. We know when a bird is first found but  
over time as more people see it, it people look for it less and we  
fail to notice its departure. When a bird is expected to be seen,  
reporting not seen is valuable information but rarely gets reported.
I have had no report from Milford this week. Did people not visit the  
area or did they go and not see anything.

This process of communal research seems to be paying off. Larry Flynn  
and Al Collins go out on boats regularly and they have blessed me  
with photos of the plankton. So far they are indeed barnacle larvae.  
I will soon have specimens to take for final confirmation. I also am  
in contact with John Barclay from UCONN who has done research on  
barnacles and Ducks.  His help knowledge and experience will be very  
valuable. I would also like to thank everyone else who contributed  

Dennis Varza

Weather (from Sikorsky Airport)
24	Monday  	Wind Average 6.9	Wind Max 17	Direction 360° (N)
25	Tuesday 	Wind Average 11.2	Wind Max 23	Direction 190° (S)
26	Wed-day	Wind Average 11.3	Wind Max 23	Direction 290° (W)
27	Thusday  	Wind Average 2.1	Wind Max 9	Direction 90° (E)
28	Friday--- 	Wind Average 8.1	Wind Max 16	Direction 340° (N)
29	Saturday	Wind Average 12.0	Wind Max 22	Direction 360° (N)
30	Sunday   	Wind Average 6.9	Wind Max 14	Direction 180° (S)

Last Quarter 29 MARCH

Topic 1 Gull Gatherings

This week there were Gatherings of off Stratford and Norwalk., both  
early in the week.
On the 27 the I was at Long Beach at Low Tide in the morning and saw  
no Gull Gatherings. later in the afternoon Christopher Lovell found a  
big Gathering on a rising tide. Common sense says of course. If you  
release larvae on a rising tide it would increase the probability of  
dispersal. it also says we should report time of day when we see  
these Gatherings. Also Reports of No Gatherings would be apreciated.

23 March 2008
Larry Flynn
Norwakl Island, hundreds of gulls (Herring(75%) and Ring-billed(25%),  
but also a half dozen Boneparte in the mix, feeding just south of  
Cockenoe Is.

24 MARCH 2008
Bill Banks just called to report a very large number of gulls (he
estimates seven thousand) off Long Beach in Stratford.  Mostly
Ring-billed, but many Herring and some Bonaparte's.

26 March 2008
Frank Mantlik
Stratford, Lordship Seawall, 4pm  (High Tide 3:24)
Oak Bluff Ave., Long Beach - 1500 gulls (60% Ring-billed, 40%  
Herring) lining the beach, feeding on freshly washed up slipper shells.

Dennis Varza
East Haven, Brasso Rd. A view off Shore. 4:45PM
A flock of 500 Gulls mostly Herring feeding off Shore.
On Shore 200 Herring Gulls of which 25 were first year.

27 March 2008
10:00 Low Tide 4:10 High Tide
Wind Average 2.1	Wind Max 9

Dennis Varza
Stratford Long Beach 9:30 No Gull Concentrations

Christopher Lovell
-1:30 this afternoon Many thousands of gulls, est 5K or more off Long  
Beach, Stratford.  They were covering and area from the last jetty  
near the parking area westward toward Pleasure Beach.  From what I  
could see they went at least 3 jetties to the west and offshore 3 or  
4 jetty lengths.  They appeared to be mostly larger gulls but without  
binoculars it was hard to tell.

28 March 2008
Al Collins
250 gulls feeding off of Stamford. The concentration of plankton was  
amazing, probably 10000 specimens from a 2 minute trawl.

Topic 2 Small Gulls
There were very few Bonaparte’s Gull Reports and the numbers were  
small.Are the big flocks yet to come? When the Ross’ Gull was seen in  
the 80’s several thousand gulls were roosting at Oyster River in April.
Bonaparte’s Gull
2008	3	24	48	Fairfield, Southport Beach	Dennis Varza
2008	3	25	260	Stamford, Holly Pond	Dennis Varza
2008	3	26	0	Old Saybrook South Cove	Carolyn Cimino
2008	3	27	85	Fairfield, Southport Beach	Dennis Varza
2008	3	28	310	Stamford, Holly Pond	Dennis Varza

Black-headed Gull
2008	3	25	1	Ad	Stamford, Holly Pond	Dennis Varza
2008	3	30	1	Ad	Fairfield, Southport Beach	Jim Hunter

Little Gull
No reports

Topic 3 Big Gulls
I made some comments about Great Black-backed Gulls last week. I got  
a reply from Larry Flynn:

I have consistently been counting 60 Great Black-back Gulls on Long  
Beach (Norwalk is) and 125 minimum on Goose Is. and another 50 or so  
dispersed thru out the islands. Herring Gulls, the major areas are  
Sheffield Is, Cockenoe Is, and Goose Is.
A 500 count would be conservative.

One of the best ways to get information is to show your ignorance.  
People are more than happy to correct you.

Topic 4 White-winged Gulls
Very few reports this week

Iceland Gull
2008	3	30	1	1W	Milford, Oyster River	Mark Aronson

Glaucous Gull
2008	3	26	1	1W	Farmington, Batterson Pond	Paul Cianfaglione

Lesser Black Backed Gull
2008	3	25	1	2W	Bristol, Bristol Reservoir
After 3 visits the Westport Lesser Black-backed Gull was not seen

More information about the CTBirds mailing list