Saturday, 30 January 2016

Vancouver Birders Go Gull Crazy

Jan 28th 2015 Trout Lake Clouds and Sun 9c

UK and Asia readers might wonder why this blog features the very common Black-headed Gull. Simple, it's only the second record in British Columbia since 2001. That's enough of a reason for many birders to make the trek to a small Vancouver pond. A red beak and legs make is easy enough to spot amongst the similar sized Ring-billed and larger Glaucous-winged Gulls.
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Trout Lake.
It took a while to find the bird as it was on the water when I arrived. Finally it flew over to a grassy area with a few ring-billed and just as I was going to snap a picture a dog flushed the flock and off they flew. 

Later a savvy photographer from Washington State came armed with a loaf of bread (why didn't I think of that) and soon the gulls were temped to fly close enough for some flight shots.

The red legs were a giveaway compared to the pale yellow/green of the Ring-billed Gulls.

I panned the camera with the bird to create the soft pastel background.
Using the Nikon 200mm-500mm zoom allowed me to crop in the camera when the bird came really close.

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 Comparison shots from the Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire UK 2014 showing breeding plumage.
Courtship display Gibraltar Point UK.

Black-headed Gulls in full breeding plumage are colony nesters and make simple nests in the mud. 

"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon

BC Canada

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