Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 12, 2010 More birding Newfoundland

Today's birding was again excellent! A number of new species were added to our trip list and we had great views of a "lifer" for everyone in the group- including me! One of the target birds for the trip was YELLOW-LEGGED GULL and we were fortunate to get a call from Jared Clarke who had found one in St. John's Harbour. This gull occurs in Europe and is a rare visitor to North America during the winter months- St. John's Nfld. is the # 1 area to see this bird. Very small numbers of this gull occur in Newfoundland during the fall and winter months and requires patient scanning to find one amongst the thousands of gulls. It is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Armed with information from Jared, we quickly made our way over to the south side of the harbour and found Jared still looking at the gull. We had great views of the Yellow-legged Gull as it rested with Great Black-backed, Herring and Iceland Gulls. Late that morning we visited a number of small ponds in the city and had good views of Eurasian Green-winged Teal, American Green-winged Teal, and Eurasian Wigeon.

The Yellow-legged Gull was a lifer for everyone !

Another view of the Yellow-legged Gull.

A first winter plumage Black-headed Gull.

The Lesser Black-backed Gull is another regular wintering species in Newfoundland.

In winter, the American Green-winged Teal is a regular visitor, in small numbers.

The Eurasian Green-winged Teal is a rare winter resident.

The American Black Duck is a common sight on city ponds and lakes.

A few Eurasian Wigeon overwinter in the St. John's area.

Black-headed Gulls feeding in St. John's Harbour. Note the black under-wing of the adult, winter plumage. Black-headed Gull.

A feeding frenzy at the sewer outlet in St. John's Harbour.

No shortage of Iceland Gulls

Bald Eagles were a regular sight at Lake Quidi Vidi, flushing up all the ducks and gulls.

A view of the St. John's Harbour at night.

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