January 16th – West Haven Boat Ramp, New Haven, CT

Several big winter storms had deposited way too much snow. A quick look for the Gambell’s White-crowned drew a blank, but at the boat ramp, the drop in temperature had frozen the edges of the harbor and plenty of gulls were loafing. Within a few minutes I had picked out a nice young “Kumlien’s” Gull battling for bread with his larger ‘cousins’.

I’ve seen several kumlieni here but Glaucous Gulls are more uncommon. A nice juvenile “Glauc” had wintered here last year providing great photo-opps.

First-winter Kumlien’s Gull, West Haven, CT January 2011.
A rather typical bird, being quite large with a dark bill bleeding into a paler, pinker base and a proportionately larger eye compared with last year’s Glaucous.
Last year’s brutish, first-winter Glauc – note classic bill pattern, small beady eye and shorter primary projection compared with the Kumlien’s

Note powerful structure, bill pattern and broad wings

Out in the harbor, brants, mergs, buffleheads and scaup scuttled over the water, barely identifiable in the “heat” haze. Of interest was a rather confiding American Pipit picking off scraps from the snow and looking mighty cold.

American Pipit, West Haven, CT. Note the pale lores, rather grey-tinged wing bars and ill-defined streaks below. The mantle shows barely any noticeable streaking and although lacking the buffer hues of early fall, this bird still has an overall buff-grey look to it.

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2 Responses to “January 16th – West Haven Boat Ramp, New Haven, CT”

  1. Mardi & Townsend Dickinson Says:

    Julian ~
    Congratulations on your new birding Journal Blog. We look forward to reading all about your adventures and detailed views of the world.
    Cheers, Mardi & Townsend

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