Monday, March 1, 2010

Glaucous Moments

This past Saturday, I had a noontime buisness meeting in Lordship, Stratford.
This is one of the most incredible birding areas in the State of Connecticut.
After my meeting, I had to at least cruise the seawall by car.
Certainly a handful of species were to be seen offshore in the sound,
Red-breasted Mergs, a loon or two, scaup...
Having only a few moments to spare, I quickly drove down to Long Beach Park, an area that in the past has produced way to many species for me to mention, but I often think about the Snowy, Short and Long-eared plus Barn Owls that I have seen in this area.
This is also an area for some cool gulls in the winter, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls have been known to pop up into this area at a moments notice.
I entered the park, driving past the sumac on the left, that last winter held a Short-eared Owl for a few moments as it passed a pellet, leaving me seconds to photographed it.
Not expecting anything of this sort, I drove on further, where eventually I found a parking space close to the western end of the park.
I pulled in, focused my bins on the sound, hum, rather quiet, drop the bins and looked at the shoreline, fifty or so feet in front of me, checking out the gulls... whats with the big white dude gull smack in front of me, Iceland? No bigger, Glaucous, yeah, thats the guy!
The people in the car next to me were passing out Duchess Fries to the gulls, this was now the hot-spot for gulls on the beach. Not to be outdone (I always have a bag of bread in the van) I slowly hopped out of the van, camera in hand, did a bit of chumming and shot off a few hundred shots.The following photos are original, cropped and than cropped more. These were from when the Duchess fries were being passed out.
Note the Glaucous Gull, it's head upside down, fighting for a piece of fry with a Herring Gull.
Head upside down or not, don't feel bad for this bird, for it is the most dominate gull on this beach.

Gull Fight!

Closer up, white winged gull is the Glaucous

Glaucous's head is upside down,
in dispute with Ring-billed Gull
Click on the pic and zoom in!


  1. Hey Larry.

    It's been brought up a few times, but I think people are wondering if this bird could be last year's 1st cycle.

    Three main reasons, in my mind, that bode well for it being the same bird (of course, I know there is know way of telling short of having it banded last year)....

    1) It is a 2nd cycle, the bird last year was a 1st cycle.

    2) It's location in relation to the parking lot and, really the whole beach itself. Gulls cover that beach from a long way from the East (before the parking lot), and all the way down to Seaside Park. This current bird is at the end of the parking lot... the same spot as lasy year's. And he was in that spot for weeks. Long enough to remember??

    3) It's behavior around humans. Last year's bird came to cars and got down on the free chow. And, from what I hear, so does this one there now.

    Interesting concept, hmmm??? I had a blow-out in my pick-up and spent all day dealing with that so I had no time to get down there. I got it on my lifelist, and thats my only goal this year (to reach 400... at 304 now), so it's not a huge deal. But I love photographing close up gulls.

    Like yours of the Ring-bill. I'm serious, you should have posted that. Great detail and a chance to see the hard to see field marks like the gape and orbital ring.

    Digging your blog, by the way! Keep it up!


  2. Brian, I actually wondered the same thing on this the same bird as last year?
    They must remember these easy handout sites.
    Just like Franks Iceland Gull at Compo.