I arrive at the jetty at 7 am and quickly scan the large flock of gulls at the base. Nothing but the usual suspects, but I did locate three Franklin's Gulls for a very good bird for the CBC. I make the hike to the end of the jetty, just over a half mile.
I get set up for the morning. Not very long after I get there I spy a couple of Northern Gannets. The conditions are very good for gannets and I anticipate a good number today. That didn't turn out to be the case, These where the only two gannets of the morning. About a half hour later Janet, one of the veterans of the jetty joins me.
About 9 am ducks start moving. A group of three fly north not very far out. I get a scope on them and yes its my target! Black Scoter is Year Bird 488.
|A White-winged Dove hangs|
with the Turnstones
I spot a large bird moving towards us. I ask Janet, is this an Osprey? It finally banks and we see its a large gull. The wing are dark, the head is very white. The tail is white with a dark band. It dwarfs a double crested cormorant it lands near. Janet snaps a picture. Through the scope I can see it has a very large stout bill.
We discuss the identification and we can only reach one conclusion. Great Black-backed Gull becomes Year Bird 489. I write it up for the count. That picture that Janet took becomes the topic of hot discussion. Some feel it doesn't eliminate Lesser Black-backed Gull. The photo get circulated to some other experts and Lesser Black-backed Gull is eliminated and the bird is accepted as a Great Black-backed Gull.
|One of the many photogenic Ruddy Turnstones on the Jetty|