[CT Birds] Nighthawks and laughing gulls

DEIRDRE MURTHA sdmurtha at sbcglobal.net
Tue Aug 31 12:28:17 EDT 2010

We had a good flight of C. Nighthawks over our house in Norwalk last night.  I wasn't able to observe the entire time but the first started coming over at about 6 pm and the last shortly after 7, and there was always at least one in sight anytime I looked.  All were trending towards the southwest.  Lots of dragonflies too, some so big and chunky that I thought they were hummingbirds.

I earlier counted 43 juvenile Laughing Gulls on a small floating dock in Greenwich harbor.  They were coexisting nicely with a few Ring-billed Gulls, but one Herring Gull kept turning up and aggressively herding the LG's around like sheep.

On the topic of Gulls hawking insects, I'd like to share a neat observation we recently made on the causeway to Antelope Island in the Great Salt lake, Utah.  The brine flies were so thick just over the water that a flock of Franklin's Gulls were simply standing on the shoreline and picking them out of the air.  It took a minute to realize why this entire flock was constantly bobbing heads and snapping bills, though otherwise still.

-Sean Murtha

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