Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What I saw on MY Spring Break (Part 3)

Of course there were gulls and terns:

Herring Gull

I had to be on the constant watch as I drove the dikes at Forsythe. One of these guys could have dropped a clam or mussel on the Tundra at any time. Often they would try this trick just yards ahead of me. If they left the shellfish on the road as I approached, I tried to run over it and break the shell for them. And not one "Thank you" came my way!

Great Black-backed Gull

Less common than the Herring Gull, these guys look like CEOs in comparison. (Sorry about the slightly fuzzy photo. It was a long shot and I must have focused on something near but not quite the gull.)

Laughing Gull

The Laughing Gull can occasionally be spotted inland but its look-alike the Bonaparte's Gull is more frequently seen here in Tioga Co. (The difference is in the color of the bill. LG has a red one, BG has a black bill.)

Common Tern

I'm calling this a Common Tern although it could be a Roseate or Forster's. The lighting isn't the greatest and the color of the bill, forking of the tail, etc. aren't shown to the best advantage. To distinguish the three apart form one another is a real challenge. But, the Common IS more common than the others. It and the Forster's Tern sometimes visits Tioga CO.

The slightly darker (to my eye) back also indicates it may be a Common Tern.

Common Tern

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