Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Cape Henlopen SP

Taj Schottland and I spent Saturday morning at Cape Henlopen Sate Park scouring the veg for migrants. We found a Common Yellowthroat, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and two Red-eyed Vireos. Pretty lame, right? It got better as soon as we walked out to the beach near the hawk watch. We found a decent-sized flock of gulls resting on the beach containing Laughing, Ring-billed, Herring, and Great and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. There were five Lesser Black-backed Gulls mixed in with the flock. We later had two flyovers.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls are relatively common along the Delaware coast in fall and winter, but can be found year round.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls records for August through March. Credit – eBird.org

I cannot remember the ages of all five gulls, but I have photos of at least three different birds. Two adults and one immature bird. I don’t have much experience with ageing, but I think the immature bird is a second or third winter bird. Suggestions or corrections are greatly appreciated.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull at Cape Henlopen State Park on 28 September 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull at Cape Henlopen State Park on 28 September 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Second or third winter Lesser Black-backed Gull at Cape Henlopen State Park on 28 September 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Cape Henlopen State Park on 28 September 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

The four bottom photos were digiscoped with an iPhone 4S + Celestron Regal M2 80ED & Phone Skope Adapter.

Again, let me know in the comments what you think about the ageing of these gulls. Thanks!

Until next time, bird hard my friends.

DuBois, PA to Dickson, TN

Ring-billed Gull near Lodi, Ohio on 2/27/2012

Today, I drove from DuBois, Pennsylvania to Dickson, Tennessee. I was hoping to make it to Memphis, but failed to do so. Because I spent so much time in the car today, I really didn’t take many photos and did not do much birding. However, I did bird whenever I stopped to get gas or stretch. Along the drive and during stops I saw Red-tailed Hawks, Turkey Vultures, a Great Blue Heron, Ring-billed Gulls, Red-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings, Canada Geese, House Sparrows, American Crows, and a dead Cooper’s hawk.

It’s really hard to look through binoculars when it’s snowing.

Yellow Creek SP on 2/8/2012

This afternoon, I spent an hour and fifteen minutes birding Yellow Creek State Park. Snow picked up as time went on making it extremely hard to see anything through binoculars and my spotting scope. I did manage to find nine species, but nothing significant. Here is a complete list:

Yellow Creek SP (IBA), Indiana, US-PA
Feb 8, 2012 12:40 PM – 1:55 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
9 species

Mallard  9
Hooded Merganser  2
Ring-billed Gull  1
Blue Jay  2
American Crow  11
Black-capped Chickadee  3
White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern)  1
Brown Creeper  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet  3

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Good birding!

Bald Eagle State Park Birding

This morning I spent an hour and a half birding at Bald Eagle State Park before heading to work. I was able to find 21 species in the short time I was there. My main purpose was to search for migrating waterfowl, but the lake was relatively empty. I was only able to find a few species of waterfowl including Mallard, Bufflehead, and a Common Loon. The highlight of the morning had to be when I observed an adult Bald Eagle mobbing and chasing an Osprey that was attempting to fish near the dam. I also had my first of fall American Tree Sparrows in the campground area of the park. Here is a complete list from the morning and a few photos:

Mallard, 1 male, 1 female
Bufflehead, 7 male, 6 female
Common Loon, 1
Double-crested cormorant, 1
Great Blue Heron, 1
Osprey, 1
Bald Eagle, 1 adult
Red-tailed Hawk, 2
Ring-billed Gull, 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker, 1
Pileated Woodpecker, 2
Blue Jay, 4
American Crow, 13
Black-capped Chickadee, 4
White-breasted Nuthatch, 3
Eastern Bluebird, 10
American Tree Sparrow, 2
Northern Cardinal, 1
Red-winged Blackbird, 4
House Finch, many
American Goldfinch, 1

Ring-billed Gull taking off

Ring-billed Gulls chillin with American Crows

Taking my little brother birding!

My little brother Zack scanning the lake for waterfowl

Saturday, October 15, I took my little brother birding before we went to see the movie Reel Steel. I really enjoy spending time discovering nature with my little brother. I try teaching him about the natural world that I have learned since I started my college career because I did not have someone to teach me when I was growing up. So as we walk around aimlessly trying to find some amazing aspect of nature I point out anything of interest to my little brother, Zack.

First, we stopped by Musser Nursery to check for any migrant waterfowl. There were only three species present:

Mallard, 15
Pied-billed Grebe, 1
Killdeer, 3

After the nursery, we moved on to Yellow Creek State Park where we encountered 18 species in the two hours we spent there. Again our main goal was to check for migratory waterfowl. Here are the species we observed at the park:

Gadwall, 2
Ruddy Duck, 10
Common Loon, 1
Pied-billed Grebe, 23
American Coot, 280
Ring-billed Gull, 1
Belted Kingfisher, 1
Hairy Woodpecker, 1
Blue Jay, 2
American Crow, 2
Common Raven, 1
Black-capped Chickadee, 3
Brown Creeper, 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2
American Robin, 1
Cedar Waxwing, 26
White-throated Sparrow, 1
American Goldfinch, 2

The Common Loon was a first of season at Yellow Creek SP and there may have been another Ring-billed Gull as well. Waterfowl migration should be heating up in the next couple weeks so keep your eyes peeled for any common migrants as well as vagrants!

Here are some photos of the Ring-billed Gull we observed flying over the lake:

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull