Erik Bruhnke and I met at Canal Park at 11 this morning to see gulls, but they weren't gathering at all near the point. We did see them rise, probably when a Peregrine Falcon passed over--the falcon landed on the aerial lift bridge and even the distant gulls pretty much disappeared. I'll have to spend more time studying the gulls later in the day tomorrow or Saturday (my dog Photon has a vet appointment tomorrow late in the day). We did pick out a Great Black-backed Gull, several Ring-billed Gulls, the Thayer's and another that we saw only briefly and couldn't be sure whether it was Thayer's or Iceland (one day that question may turn out to be unimportant). We also saw this Herring Gull with a weird tip to its bill.
|Herring Gull with deformed bill tip|
Erik picked out this hybrid Common Goldeneye x Hooded Merganser. The bill is very merganser-like. It stayed a bit separate from the main flock of goldeneyes.
|Common Goldeneye x Hooded Merganser|
I wonder if the female Bufflehead is the same one as last year?
I added 7 new species for the year today, including the Peregrine Falcon, bringing my total so far to 36. Oddly enough, though it's only been a few decades since breeding peregrines had been entirely extirpated from the eastern US, its reintroduction has been so successful that it's no longer considered of conservation concern at all. The two species I've seen so far that are of conservation concern are the Evening Grosbeak and Thayer's Gull.
I looked for the Varied Thrush again on my way home from Canal Park, but got skunked (though I did finally see a Blue Jay). Miles put on today: 13, making the total so far 267.
New species added:
- Ring-billed Gull
- Great Black-backed Gull
- Thayer's Gull
- Peregrine Falcon
- Blue Jay