Posts Tagged ‘Iceland Gull’

Brooklyn Smash ‘n Grab

March 20, 2017

View of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier.

19th March
While Ingrid took care of some chores, I took the opportunity to explore some of the suburban areas of Park Slope and environs, notably the piers south of the apartment. With some guidance from local experts Sean Sime and Shane Blodgett, I scoped out a few spots. (CLICK IMAGES FOR HI-RES FILES)

It was overcast and threatening snow/rain shower, but despite the leaden sky, the moisture held off. Arriving at the Veterans Memorial Pier, I noticed a few distant gulls wheeling around on the water off the Owls Head Treatment Plant. With no access viewing was tough, but a pallid first-cycle Iceland Gull stood out in the haze. After a while, I walked back to the car and was surprised to see a full-hooded, adult Black-headed Gull sat on the railing next to the security booth! Nice.

Adult Black-headed Gull, Veterans Memorial Pier, Brooklyn

The bird soon flew down on to the pier to loaf with some Ring-billed Gulls, and the Iceland Gull did a close fly-by attracted to a person flinging bread on to the pier. A quick check of the Brooklyn Army Terminal failed to find the Mew Gull (brachyrhyncus) seen there by Shane Blodgett over a month ago.

First-cycle Iceland Gull

20th March
With Ingrid and Indra off to the store, I sneaked off for another quick excursion. A quick check of the Brooklyn Army Pier produced nothing different from yesterday. Stopping off in Prospect Park on the way back to the apartment, was lucky in that the juv male Goshawk was sat in one of the tall trees by the feeders. great looks, but backlighting made for some tough images. The bird soon did a fly-by, and I was able to grab some half-decent flight shots, albeit heavily cropped.

Juv Goshawk, Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Relatively small, I assume it’s a male based on size.

The relatively small size and lack of a really bold supercilium could lend itself to being mistaken for a Cooper’s Hawk. Nice broad wings and long-hand and heavily streaked underparts that extend all the way down the underparts, specifically being marked on the undertail coverts are good pro-Gos features.


Kumlien’s Gulls

January 25, 2011

Nice evening light prompted a quick sojurn down to look for Kumlien’s Gull at the boat ramp. Immediately upon arriving located a nice juv. Kumlien’s standing near the shore – nice grey wash to the underparts made it a different bird to last week’s individual.

This bird has a more wholly blackish bill and nice grey bloom to the underparts than last week’s bird. This is a fairly typical kumlieni at the paler end of the spectrum. A fairly classic bird as far they go here in CT. In the UK, would you confidently identify this as a glaucoides Iceland Gull?

This bird has narrow, indistinct sub-apical tips to the primaries and a mottled/marbled tail but in a vagrancy context this would be a difficult call in Europe.

Alex hanging out at the boat ramp with the local pigeons. In the background, a constant reminder of my most sought-after State bird!

Here’s a couple of shots of returning adults from CT in year’s gone by..

Ad. Kumlien's Gull, CT, USA, February 2006. Note nice slate markings on primaries and amber eye - some are dark-eyed as in Thayer's but many here show a dull amber iris.

Ad. Kumlien's Gull, CT, March 2007.

Truly exquisite birds and a joy to photograph. Several Thayer’s Gulls have been seen in CT in recent years, and for comparison here are some shots of a bird that Nick Bonomo and I found in December 09 at the Hartford landfill – CT’s mecca gull spot. Initially briefly glimpsed by Nick, it promptly disappeared before we could clinch it, but after searching with James Smith, we managed to work through features and obtain some nice photos of this birder’s bird. In addition to an adult Thayer’s, Nick also found the State’s first Slaty-backed Gull the same winter!

Juv. Thayer's Gull, CT Dec 2009 with juv/f-w Kumlien's Gull (on right). Note the overall color, primary pattern, scapulars and tertials. In changing lights, this bird took on a chameleon-like appearance appearing very difficult to pick out from the young 'smickers'. Here it shows the nice cold, marbled appearance that was typical in overcast conditions.

In flight..

Note mostly all dark bill, primary pattern, solid brownish tertials with mottled tips, dark earcovert patch, dark secondary bar and wholly dark brownish (not blackish) tail,

Note compact shape (short legs, plump body) and nice "white-winged" like under primary surfaces. Undertail coverts also nicely vermiculated.