[CT Birds] Southport Little and Mew Gull
mjwarner at optonline.net
Fri Apr 10 21:56:36 EDT 2015
The fog at Southhport Beach at 11:40 am offered about a half mile of visibility. I was heartened by the large number of birds I could see in bino both on the water and on shore at the river mouth. Low tide was at 10:19 am and the high tide expected at 4:22 pm, so I knew there was time to scan these birds. This was now the third day for me to find the elusive Little Gull so once again it was winter coat, wool hat and gloves to fend off the the chilly easterly wind blowing at a steady 15 mph. Counting by 100's from the jetty, there were 3000 birds on the water and another 1000+ birds, mostly Gulls, at the river mouth. It was as if all the birds I saw yesterday at Fairfield beach from the Penfield Pavilion had come to visit little Southport Harbor. The flock of 200 to 300 Bonies were at the river mouth and following some great advice, I anxiously scanned the edges of that main flock for the Little Gull without luck. Apart from the main group, some Bonies were in the river outlet itself, bathing and preening. Suddenly the flock took to the air and I scanned in bino for the black underwing. That happened a few more times and I realized 10x binos can be too much in some situations. Shortly after noon time, Paul Cashman arrived and we chatted while scanning the resting flock. The Bonies popped up a couple more times and then finally I saw the dark underwing on an adult bird as it landed on the back edge of the flock. LIttle Gull ! I could not relocate the bird behind the main group. Some birds began flying out to the Sound and I noticed the number on the water had diminished, flying off to the east. Mayn Hipp arrived around 1 pm and joined Paul and I on the jetty. I have birded with Mayn before and I know him as a very qualified birder. More birds took to flight and the Bonie flock was about half strength when suddenly Mayn said "Mew Gull !" I didn't even question him, I just said "Where? " He showed the location and in the next 30 minutes a whole bunch of electrons were put to good use as Mayn and I snapped away. So far, comments on the ID have been positive. The bird moved once or twice then took off and headed east to join the others. Mayn, deservedly, was pleased with the sighting, and Paul and I gained a lifer for Connecticut. Thanks Mayn, here's hoping it stays. Pics on request.
If you go, dress very warmly or have the extra clothing available to stay warm. They are calling for sunshine tomorrow but they are also saying winds of 15 to 25 mph out of the Northwest. There is a difference when you are on the water. After two hours today I was cooked.
Good luck !
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