3oth July – Chaos at Coney Island, New York

Coney Island Boardwalk

I joined Nick Bonomo, Dori Sosensky, Roy Harvey and Alex Burdo for a pre-dawn chase for a  GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus) that was found at Coney Island, New Yorklast week. Identified after photos were circulated by the finder, it went missing before being relocated yesterday. To quote from Alex’s blog:

“..this bird represents only the second ABA record, with the first being from Apalachicola, Florida in December of 1998. The Gray-hooded Gull’s global range encompasses parts of both South America and Africa including the coast of Peru and Ecuador on the Pacific side and southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay and all of Uruguay on the Atlantic side of South America. Like in South America, the bird occupies areas on both coasts of Africa including a population on the Atlantic coast around the vicinity of Mauritania. It also breeds in Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar and across lower South Africa and Mozambique. The birds in both continents are widely spaced, with the distance between the Atlantic population in Africa and the Madagascar population appearing to be a similar distance apart as Coney Island and the Pacific South America population.”

We baked in the sun from 7am-12pm, with little to show except a few Lesser Black-backed’s and some disturbing thong sightings! Just as we were getting ready to leave, Llyod’s Spitalnik’s co-pilot, Harry, pointing upwards exclaimed, “Hey, wait, here!”
Sure, enough, it was “the boy” and we had surreal views of the bird for the next hour as it scavenged around sunbathers right off the iconic boardwalk.

Here’s some pix in the harsh midday sun.

Ad. Gray-hooded Gull, Coney Island, New York

Crippling Views!


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