Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gull Mania at Rondeau

I went back to Rondeau this morning.  There was a stiff east wind which may have attributed to fewer passerines to some degree along south point trail.  Jim Burk and I added a couple of Pine Warblers, different from yesterday and another Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Unco-operative gnatcatcher!

Along the south shoreline, it was evident that there was a large number of gulls, especially Bonaparte's moving west.
Since we did not spend much time on the trail, it was time to check out Dog Beach just up the road. This is an excellent vantage point especially on an east wind. Conditions must have been right today, as sometimes an east wind produces little.

We arrived at the beach and set up scopes.  The number of gulls was simply incredible!  Insane would be a better word.  Hundreds of Bonaparte's Gulls were constantly going by, and they just kept coming.  I can safely say it was the largest number of Bonaparte's I have ever seen.

Soon, I spotted an immature Little Gull, then another.  For the 2+ hours we stood there, we ended up with a total of 11 Little Gulls.  All were adults except the first two.  It would be safe to say we missed several others!  Lots of gulls were far out as well.
Early on, I remarked that it was a good day for a Black-legged Kittiwake, among other things.  Sure enough I spotted one!  It went by quite quickly like all the others.

Very young Little Gull?

It was the first one I have seen in the park boundary, as the others (3) within the circle were at Erieau in past years.

There were only a few Common Terns today, plus one Forster's.

Along the shoreline, a couple of Dunlin kept a group of Sanderlings company.

One Sanderling sported a single leg!

A few Surf and White-winged Scoters went by during the course of the morning as well as several Common Loons and Horned Grebes.

It was surprising that no jaegers showed up, but then again they seem to avoid Rondeau like the plague for the most part.

One can only speculate what other goodies we missed out there in the 20,000+ gulls.

After Jim left, I walked a bit of marsh trail. I added this Common Yellowthroat for the day.

I stopped by Blenheim Lagoons on the way home and basically the same shorebirds were there, just fewer numbers of some.  Rayfield and Don Pye were there looking for the Long-billed Dowitcher. We could not find it and as we were just about to leave, it suddenly appeared!

Tomorrow is another day...Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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