Friday, September 9, 2011

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull showing pink legs, UMASS fields, Sept 9, 2011

Bonaparte's Gull, UMASS fields, Sept 9, 2011

Bonaparte's Gull, UMASS fields, Sept 9, 2011
I spent the morning with Ian Davies checking out a few spots around UMASS.  Despite the apparent heavy nocturnal migration last night little in the way of passerines were noted with the highlight being a Wilson's and Canada Warbler.  With little activity of Orchard Hill we decided to try a few other spots.  We noticed a large group of gulls on the athletic fields and thought it a good idea to make a quick stop.  In among the nearly 300 Ring-billed Gulls was a fresh juvenile plumaged Bonaparte's Gull.  This gull is unusual in western Massachusetts but is usually seen every year.  The bird was fairly dark and made us check it out closely to make sure it was not something even more unusual.  Perhaps this is the same bird that was seen at the Oxbow in Northampton several days ago that was described as a juvenile plumaged Bonaparte's.  I got a few record shots of the bird but the bird was distant.  We then went over to the UMASS horse farm and that was quiet for birds but a field across the street had 25+ Killdeer, a few each of Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers and an unidentified longer winged peep that flew away as I opened a door. 

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