Saturday, June 14, 2014

Brig 6/14--Glaucous Gull

The middle of June is a tweener season--spring migration is just about over and fall migration (which for shorebirds starts in July) is yet to come. When I was at Brig last week, I didn't see much on my couple trips around the impoundments; I was curious if going around with Pete & Mike today would yield more. The answer was "just a little."

It didn't help that we started our trip on a full moon high tide, so there was no mud for the shorebirds to feed on. Besides a couple of Blue Grosbeaks and a Willow Flycatcher at the start of the trip, we really weren't coming up with much of anything until Mike found a Whimbrel in the west pool to the left of a flock of skimmers. Whimbrels should be out of Brig and in the high arctic as of 3 weeks ago, at least, so this was a good find.

We were hoping that with the tide going out, our 2nd trip around after lunch would be more productive, but hope, this time, was a thing without feathers. We saw even less our 2nd trip than we did in the morning until halfway down the north dike Mike came up with another out of season bird, a hen Bufflehead.

We stopped at a place after the dogleg where often we come up with Caspian Terns; no luck this time but finally we found a really interesting bird, once again thanks to Mike--a large, light gray gull with white wingtips, the field marks of a Glaucous Gull, another bird that should be far north of here.

So the trip was by no means a bust with those 3 noteworthy birds, plus, for me another 64 species. In another month or so, the place should be teeming with hard to identify sandpipers--can't wait, especially while battling the greenhead flies at the same time.

My list:
67 species
Canada Goose  50     with goslings
Mute Swan  6     with cygnets
American Black Duck  4
Mallard  5
Bufflehead  1     
Double-crested Cormorant  8
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  20
Snowy Egret  10
Tricolored Heron  1
Black-crowned Night-Heron  2
Glossy Ibis  8
Turkey Vulture  5
Osprey  15     most on nests
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Clapper Rail  1
American Oystercatcher  8
Black-bellied Plover  12
Greater Yellowlegs  2
Willet  25
Whimbrel  1
Laughing Gull  200
Ring-billed Gull  1
Herring Gull  20
Glaucous Gull  1    
Great Black-backed Gull  5
Gull-billed Tern  3
Forster's Tern  25
Black Skimmer  100
Mourning Dove  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1     Heard, parking lot
Peregrine Falcon  1
Willow Flycatcher  1
Great Crested Flycatcher  1
Eastern Kingbird  3
Red-eyed Vireo  1
American Crow  1
Fish Crow  1
Purple Martin  10
Tree Swallow  5
Barn Swallow  10
Carolina Chickadee  1     Heard
Tufted Titmouse  4     Heard
House Wren  1     Heard
Marsh Wren  2     Heard
Carolina Wren  2     Heard
Eastern Bluebird  1
American Robin  1
Gray Catbird  5
European Starling  20
Cedar Waxwing  3
Common Yellowthroat  5     Heard
Yellow Warbler  
1     Heard
Pine Warbler  1     Heard
Eastern Towhee  1
Field Sparrow  1     Heard
Seaside Sparrow  5
Song Sparrow  4     Heard
Blue Grosbeak  2
Indigo Bunting  1     Heard, field after Experimental Pool
Red-winged Blackbird  50
Common Grackle  1
Boat-tailed Grackle  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  2
Orchard Oriole  1
House Finch  4     Picnic tables

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