Wednesday, February 29, 2012

g-g-g-gull unit

Work ended early for me yesterday, and I took a few hours in the afternoon to go back to Waterloo and look for gulls. After my last two visits turned up very few birds, today was quite busy!  I spent a few hours watching the gulls come and go from the fountain. I estimated these numbers for ebird, although no where near this many were present at any given time:

~400 Ring-billed Gulls (only 30 present on Saturday)
~500 Herring Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
~4 Glaucous Gulls
~20-25 "Kumlien's" Iceland Gulls
3 Thayer's Gulls

2 of the Thayer's Gulls are the same dark Juveniles that I have featured here earlier. The third was an adult that I had not yet seen, and have added some snaps below. This is my 8th individual Thayer's here over the past few weeks!

Dark-ish eye. Lots of white in the wings. 

Primary pattern tells it apart from the other 2 adult Thayer's I've photo'd here recently 

The nice Thayer's pattern with lots of black, but only on the tounges. (outer edge of the feathers). Black only on 5 primaries for this bird. (I like to see 6, but overall the bird is very much acceptable). 


I also took a few snaps of an adult Herring Gull with limited black in the primaries. I don't often photograph these birds, even though I do notice them pretty regularly when studying the adults. 

Not the best pics, but revealing. Notice how this Herring actually shows less black in the wings overall than the Thayer's, but the pattern is different. The last primary (P10) has lots of black covering most of the feather (not a tongue) and the others have very little black that are little bands across the tips of the feathers (again, not "tongues"). 

The Herring also has the pale eye and ugly mug of a Herring Gull (unlike the dark eye and more delicate mug of a Thayer's). 

Fun with Thayer's 

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