[CT Birds] 7 Iceland Gulls and other highlights- complete report

kmueller at ntplx.net kmueller at ntplx.net
Thu Feb 21 17:39:33 EST 2013

It was just a bit "nippy" this morning at Meigs Point, but this was a  
good morning for Iceland Gulls! Yesterday at Meigs Point Hammo, I  
found five ICELAND GULLS among the several hundred Herring,  
Ring-billed and a few Greater Black-backed Gulls which also included  
approx. 50 Bonaparte's Gulls. The Iceland Gulls included two first  
cycle birds (which included) one very darker plumaged bird, two second  
cycle birds and an interesting adult with a darker eye and very black  
primaries.I only saw the adult for a few quick minutes at a short  
distance (an managed a few record shots) before it flew off and wasn't  

This morning I went back to Meigs to find the adult Iceland Gull from  
yesterday. I eventually found it along with three of the other Iceland  
Gulls from yesterday: light plumage fist cycle and the two second  
cycle birds. I couldn't locate the dark first cycle bird though.  
However, the adult from this morning was NOT the same adult from  
yesterday. Although it had similar "darker" primaries, there were  
other plumage and anatomy differences, hence it was another new  
Iceland Gull to Madison. The Gull numbers were as numerous as  
yesterday with the exception of the Bonaparte's Gulls; there were only  
five present with the Gulls at Meigs. A few small flocks of  
Sanderlings and Horned Larks continue.

 From Meigs I drove over to Circle Beach. Along the route there were a  
few flocks of Goldeneye and a handful of Greater Scaup along East Wharf.

At Circle Beach, I was delighted to find three Iceland Gulls: the  
continuing adult, first cycle, and again, another new Iceland Gull to  
the beach: a stunning  pale gray and white third cycle bird. This was  
the second new Iceland Gull of the day. For the month of February, I  
have seen sixteen ICELAND GULLS and one additional seen by Frank  
Mantlik at Hammo which brings the total to SEVENTEEN ICELAND GULLS to  
the Madison coast between Hammo and Circle Beach. This includes: 4  
Adults, 3 first cycle, one third cycle, and nine second cycle Gulls.

I left Circle Beach and although the East River boat ramp road is  
passable (but not plowed) the gate was open. As I drove down the road,  
a pair of female/juvenile Harriers were hunting the marsh. I stopped  
my Jeep to watch them, when all of the sudden a large bird jumped up  
out of the creek ditch below me (low tide) and flew down the road. It  
was a male Harrier (a magnificent bird) and it had prey in one of its  
talons: a Green Crab!! That was a first for me. Needless to say, I was  
caught off guard, I never got a picture.

When I drove into my driveway, the resident pair of Red-shouldered  
Hawks were perched in a tree along my driveway, as was a flock of  
eleven Wild Turkeys and three Deer invading my bird feeders!

I am currently working on my blog to update it....since I am three  
weeks behind. I have allot of stuff to put on there, I should have  
something ready in a few days.

Keith Mueller

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