[CT Birds] Rhode Island Gulls and Snowy Owl today

kmueller at ntplx.net kmueller at ntplx.net
Sun Jan 12 19:10:39 EST 2014

Good day birding in Rhode Island today!

Galilee Harbor. Started the morning off at 8:00 am on the docks near  
the Frances Fleet and behind the processing Plant- 3rd cycle Glaucous  
Gull came in close on the parking lot, docks and pilings. Giving great  
close looks for half an hour. Also 2- 1st cycle Iceland Gulls (1 dark  
and 1 medium plumage).

Scarborough Beach south end near WTP discharge 9:30 am. 1 adult  
Black-headed Gull and 5 Bonaparte's Gulls mixed in with the other  
Gulls (mostly Ring-billed Gulls).

Beavertail Point SP. 10:30 am. Snowy Owl was first sighted on the  
chimney of the lighthouse museum building. With the 25 knot westerly  
wind, the Owl kept moving around the park obviously trying to find a  
windless roost. NOTE: I would like to add, that the numerous birders  
and photographers gave the Owl a wide berth and respected its  
space....no one crowded the Owl. It flew from the top of the house to  
the nearby light pole. The wind coming across the west passage was too  
strong for the Owl so it flew off the pole to the boulders on the east  
side. It then flew to the edge of parking lot 3 on the east side and  
landed in a tree-top. It stayed for a few minutes obviously fighting  
the heavy wind again and then flew down to a large boulder just  
offshore on the east side. Staying only a few minutes, it flew back to  
the edge of the bank near the grassy lot where many of us were  
standing watching the Owl at a distance. It landed within ten feet of  
many of us, before flying off again landing on the gutter on the  
backside roof of the lighthouse museum where it remained tucked in  
nicely in the lee of the roof out of the heavy wind, Quite an amazing  

After lunch, we stopped back at Galilee Harbor with hopes of finding  
the adult GLaucous Gull that was reported yesterday. We found the two  
Iceland Gulls from this morning, but no Glaucous Gull. At one point  
someone came out of the packing  plant with several large bins of iced  
fish ready to be picked up. The Gulls went into a fierce feeding  
frenzy covering these bins. There were several hundred Gulls on the  
bins, on the pavement, and in the air hovering over the feeding Gulls.  
In this cluster of Gulls I found a third Iceland Gull, a pale, nearly  
white 1st cycle. The other two Iceland Gulls also joined in the  
feeding and all three were present at the same time. I also found 2  
banded 1st cycle Great Black-backed Gulls wearing Appledore Island  
bands and leg markers.

At 3:00 pm on the way home we stopped at Grassy Point looking for the  
Lesser Black-backed Gull but it was a no-show.

Highlights: 3rd cycle Glaucous Gull, 3- 1st cycle Iceland Gulls (pale  
white, medium and dark plumages), 2 banded Great Black-backed Gulls, 1  
adult Black-headed Gull, 5 Bonaparte's Gulls, Snowy Owl.

Keith and Jen Mueller

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