[CT Birds] Gulls Today-potential THAYER'S GULL!

kmueller at ntplx.net kmueller at ntplx.net
Thu Mar 20 20:08:09 EDT 2014

Meigs Point, Hammo 3:30 to 5:00 pm. potential adult THAYER's GULL!!

I wanted to get to Hammo about high tide this afternoon (slack tide  
the Gulls are resting near shore waiting for the tide and bloom to  
turn on). I arrived at 3:30 just in time to see a concentration of  
Gulls including a few dozen Bonaparte's Gulls sitting along shore just  
to the left of the Meigs observation platform. As I got near the  
shoreline...all the gulls started taking off heading out apparently  
the bloom activity had begun. A few Bonaparte's Gulls stayed for a few  
minutes, and then they joined the few hundred Gulls about 300 yards  
off shore. Within minutes Gulls were coming from every direction  
caught up in the feeding blitz.

Bonaparte's Gulls started coming from the east in small numbers and  
began building in the feeding flocks. In the flocks of mostly  
Ring-billed and Herring Gulls I found 3 Iceland Gulls; 2 adults (1  
with light gray primaries, 1 with dark primaries) and 1- 1st cycle). I  
originally had gone down to look for Little Gulls...but no luck. I  
looked for the Black-headed Gulls that were there earlier in the week,  
but I couldn't locate them.

2 Gannets came from the east and plunged dived several times on the  
outer edge of the feeding Gulls which now built to 750 birds. While I  
was scoping through the flock, I found what I can only describe as an  
adult THAYER's GULL! I watched the Gull for a few minutes making sure  
of my sighting: slightly smaller than the adjacent Herring Gulls,  
small pale lemon yellow bill, jet black eye, rounded head, darker gray  
mantle than the surrounding Herring Gulls and large white apical spots  
on the primaries. I tried to digi-scope a few shots of the Gull in my  
iphone, but was unsuccessful (I left my digi-scope camera and scope  
attachment home). I took many shots in my regular camera of the  
distant Gulls on the water, but with the strong southwesterly wind,  
waves, white caps and constantly changing birds, I don't know if I was  
able to capture this bird (about 400 yards out) in my camera. I will  
know later when I download all the images.

Also joining the Gulls were Black Ducks, Scaup, (no Brant today), 3  
Pintail, and 5 Green-winged Teal. When I was leaving...the Gulls had  
started moving closer to shore, some within 100 yards.

Highlights: potential adult THAYER's GULL, 3 Iceland Gulls, 100  
Bonaparte's Gulls, 3 Pintail, 5 Green-winged Teal, 2 adult GANNET, 5  
Common Loon, 2 Red-throated Loon, 3 Horned Grebe, 1 Red-necked Grebe  
(dressed in breeding finery).

Keith Mueller

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