Well, I bet you all thought I had disappeared again. I've actually been working kinda hard writing material for the blog, i just haven't been finishing anything. I've also been experimenting with taking video footage. Today I got some footage of the long staying Black-tailed Gull and even got it performing it's long call. This bird is really starting to look good now. It's now mainly white headed and now has a brilliant red orbital ring. The red on the bill tip even seems brighter. Not bad for a gull that was run over by a truck! Here's a photo of the BTGU calling to assert his dominance over the near by Ring-billed Gulls.
I'm hoping to add some video footage of this guy in a few days once I get that whole scene figured out ;/
While the BTGU is starting to brighten up some species such as Great Cormorant have been looking pretty snazzy for a while now. This species has managed to effectively elude my camera lens all winter until a couple days ago. I finally caught up to a nice alternate plumaged bird on the remains of a dilapidated wharf in the St.John's harbour. It was rewarding to finally get some good photo ops with these guys after chasing them around the harbour so much this winter but never connecting with them when there were in convenient locations.
Along with the Shags another photo nemesis bird fell this winter- Wood Duck. Too be specific female Wood Duck. While the male of this species tends to garner most of the attention I find myself considerably more enamoured with the female.It lacks the riot of colors of the male Wood Duck, but makes up for that with a more subtle, less flamboyant beauty. I find myself especially drawn to the ye low orbital ring. That could just be me though, I have a thing for orbital rings. I won't get into that too much though or I'll ruin a future post. Anyway, you can see what I mean...
Since I'm on the topic of birds making the switch from simple basic plumage to their more flash alternate dress, I would be inept if I failed to mention Black-headed Gull. About 75-100 BHGU's winter in St.John's each winter and every year local birders eagerly wait for them to acquire their black..eh hemm.. I mean brown heads. yea, Black-headed Gull is a bit of a misnomer. I guess they do look kinda black headed from a distance on an overcast day?? Anyway, I'll finish this quick post with a few BHGU's.
Looking ahead, I've got a number of things planned for future blog articles. I'm knee deep ina discussion about possible ways of separating nominate glaucoides Iceland Gulls from apparently <<< key word<<< pure, white winged Kumliens Gulls. I also eluded to a future post about orbital rings. However before all of that I'll have something to say about the weather and what we might have to look forward to.
Look at this weather map. This is happening right now...
Right now birds displaced from the southern US are probably arriving on Newfoundland shores... but I'll have more to say about that tomorrow.
Oh and I almost forgot..added three new year birds today. Northern Fulmar, Ruffed Grouse and Thick-billed Murre. None of these are surprises. What was a surprise was the Great Egret that was reported. I did refind this bird. Unfortunately it was face down and not at all alive! Too bad, I hate seeing this happen,but such are the perils of migration. After the above system passes, I'd expect more Egrets!