It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted, but things are starting to slow down a bit. The holidays not only brought some family and friends to town, but also a personal change which I’ll post about in the coming days. I’m also making headway on the next part of my Costa Rica trip report so stayed tuned for that.
For now, kickback and enjoy a few photos and some brief text of a few recent outings……
While attending the November Northeast Wisconsin Birding Club field trip, I photographed the gulls below:
Glaucous Gull – the world’s second largest gull. Notice the relatively short-tail and lack of any black markings.
Great Black-backed Gull – the world’s largest gull species. Seen here it completely dwarfs the nearby Ring-billed Gull.
Although it was cold and snowing at times, it was a typical NWBC November field trip. Much fun was had by all!
On this years Appleton Christmas Bird Count (CBC), my mate Stuart was in town for the first time during CBC season and I was fortunate to have him along on my route along with my annual compadre Eric. Stuart’s a gull expert and he’s the one you want standing next to you as you search for rarities.
A Snowy Owl is always a nice find on a CBC! This was late in the day in crummy lighting conditions, but still worth sharing.
Until I became a birder, I had no idea how lucky I was to have a rubbish dump nearby. Yesterday (Tuesday, December 22nd) Stuart and I spent a few hours sorting through hundreds of gulls. The gulls feed at the dump and then flock to a nearby field to digest. There were easily 500 gulls in the field and on a nearby rooftop and we could see another 500 flying over the dump.
Picking through a thousand gulls is actually quite fun – it’s like “Where’s Waldo?,” but with gulls. As Stuart has taught me – you’re looking for the one (or two…or three) which looks different from all the others. On this day we tallied 5 species of gull (Herring, Ring-billed, Great Black-backed, Glaucous, and Thayer’s).
Even in bad lighting, you can easily see the noticeably darker mantle (back) of the Great Black-backed Gull versus the Herring and Glaucous Gulls.
Hopefully you’ll hear from me again before the end of 2015, but until then…..Bird It Up!