Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 15, 2012 Ivory Gull at Arnprior, Ontario

Hi Everyone

I've said this many times " anything is possible"  in the bird world. Today, Michael Runtz, while birding in the Arnprior area discovered an immature IVORY GULL on the Madawaska head pond. A  super rarity in Ontario and anywhere south of the arctic circle. This bird caused lots of excitement in the local birding community's. Another highlight is it appears the Ivory Gull is within the 50km radius of the Ottawa-Gatineau district and will be a new species for the district. There are only a few records of Ivory Gull for eastern Ontario and all individuals were  in immature plumage. One was found on Lake Dore in Renfrew County on  November  12, 1995, another was found at Amherst Island near Kingston, January 3-17, 2001, one along the St.Lawrence River at Cornwall, Ontario/ Massena, New York in December 1977 and January 1978, Presqu'ile Provincial Park, January 2, 1967 and November 22-24, 1990. With all the local Christmas bird counts under way there is always a chance another one will be found. 
Update: Unfortunately the Ivory Gull wasn't relocated the following morning despite a small group of birders checking for most of the morning. 

Good birding, Bruce

 Directions: Courtesy Michael Runtz: To get to the site, take 417 to Arnprior and exit at White Lake exit. Go into Arnprior and turn right at the second lights onto Baskin Drive (just before turning right you will see McDonalds on your left. Proceed to the end of Baskin Drive and you will
see the Madawaska Headpond straight ahead. Scan the edge of the ice for the bird. DO NOT walk down the point past a closed gate . This is private land and the owners do not want anyone on the property.

A flight shot of the Ivory Gull as it flew by us.

The  immature Ivory Gull is easy recognized in flight by its black spotting's on the wings, back, tail and smudged dark face. 

In Newfoundland the Ivory Gulls local name is "Ice Partridge".

The Ivory Gull  was a lifer for Ben.  

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