[CT Birds] 4/1 Coastal birding - 7 species of gull (incl. Little Gull, 2500+ Bonaparte's)

Nick Bonomo nbonomo at gmail.com
Sun Apr 1 20:57:17 EDT 2012

Jake Musser and I had a very successful day's birding the coast
between Westport and West Haven from about 9am to 4pm. Our main
objective was to find gull flocks, and we were not disappointed!
Throughout the day we saw two main flocks of gulls: at Southport Beach
in Fairfield (most roosting on the beach with more plankton feeding
offshore) and at Russian Beach in Stratford (plankton feeding very
close to shore). We tallied 7 gull species on the day including one
LITTLE GULL, two Iceland Gulls, and three Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Also notable were many Northern Gannets at most stops. A dedicated
watch would likely have logged dozens. Most birds early were moving
west; most birds later were loafing/feeding.

Here are some highlights:

Westport, Burying Hill Beach - adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL
Fairfield, Southport Beach with Mark Szantyr and Hayden Hall -
EURASIAN WIGEON, adult LITTLE GULL in near full alternate plumage
among 1000 Bonaparte's Gulls (a rather stunning bird!), third cycle
Bridgeport, Seaside Park - 3 NORTHERN SHOVELERS
Stratford, Russian Beach - 2 ICELAND GULLS (first cycles), third cycle
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, 1500 Bonaparte's Gulls
Milford, Milford Pt - 2 BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 4 Piping Plovers, adult
Great Cormorant
West Haven/Milford, Oyster River mouth - 114 Bonaparte's Gulls

Nick Bonomo
Wallingford, CT

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