I was reminded of how dramatically the situation with Black-headed Gulls has changed in St.John's, when a birding friend sent me a message excitedly announcing that "5 Black-headed Gulls were seen at Quidi Vidi Lake".Just a few years ago this was not even a notable species in the city and 5 would have been considered an extremely low number. However, with the endless buffet of human waste and the associated upwelling or marine life, from the outflow of sewage water, the Black-headed Gulls have left the city for parts unknown. There are still a few around the city if you look hard enough and they can still be seen at a few other 'natural' locations', where there are productive tidal beaches, such as Bellvue Beach and Spaniard's Bay to name a couple. Also, Newfoundland does still also host the (only known?) breeding Black-headed Gulls in North America at Stephenville Crossing, where several pairs nest among the much more abundant Ring-billed Gulls.
I'll end this here and leave you with a photo montage. I particularly miss the excellent photo opportunities I've had with the species, particularly the beautiful adults in alternate plumage.
|Black-headed Gull, St.John's, April|
|BHGU, St.John's, April|
|BHGU, St.John's, January|
|BHGU, St. John's, January|
|BHGU, St.John's, adult in front, 1st cycle in background. January|
|BHGU, Topsail, Newfoundland, January|
|BHGU, 1st cycle, St.John's, January|
|BHGU, almost complete alternate plurchmage, St.John's, Ma|
|Black-headed Gull, showing why it's name is a misnomer. Nicely showing it's brown head here. St.John's, April|
|Black-headed Gull silhouetted against setting sun. St.John's, April|
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