Iceland Gulls at Ashbridges Bay: March 2021

Most of the gulls we see in the Toronto area at any time of the year are Ring-billed Gulls.

Ring-billed Gulls
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull

There are a few Herring Gulls which are larger and do not have rings on their bills as adults:

Herring Gull

Now and then the very large Great Black-backed Gulls are seen:

Great Black-backed Gull

Ring-billed and Herring Gulls have black wing tips:

Ring-billed Gull

On land you can see the black at the rear:

Ring-billed Gull

Not all gulls have black wing tips, and there were 2 at Ashbridge’s Bay today.

Iceland Gull adult

Iceland Gulls (which are actually rare in Iceland) are larger than Ring-bills. Adults have white heads:

Iceland Gull with Ring-bill

In addition to this bird, a juvenile was present. It has a black bill.

Iceland Gull (juvenile)
Iceland Gull (juvenile)
Iceland Gull (juvenile) with Ring-billed Gull
Iceland Gull (juvenile)

Other birds:

Mallard (female)
Mallard (male)
Mallard (male)
American Black Duck
Mallard (female) and Black duck
Mute Swan
Canada Goose
Red-breasted Merganser (female)
Long-tailed Duck (female)
Common Goldeneye (juvenile)

Park scenes:

Some botany:

Sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)
Sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) male
Spindletree (Euonymus europaea)
Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)
Larch (Larix decidua)
Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
Red-osier (Cornus sericea)
Silver Maple (Acer sachharinum)
Hawthorn (Crataegus)
Kentucky Coffee-tree (Gymnocladus dioicus)
Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides)


Miles, my brother has been watching this duck tangled with fishing line and bait, for several days. He would like the pictures to be shared widely to see if there is any way this duck can be helped. Any suggestions?

From Bert

Here are some photos taken this morning in Bowmanville harbour. This duck has a small bag of what looks like fish eggs which has been in about the same position on his side for at least the past three days. The duck does not appear to have difficulty swimming and diving. It has been swimming up and down the harbour channel, and diving repeatedly, for the past few days. However in two of the photos you can see a monofilament line which appears to reach back and around one wing, so I wonder if it would be able to fly well, especially all the way to the arctic coast.
Since I have read that this species is in steep decline, it really bothers me to see this. I wonder if there is anybody I can contact for help in freeing this bird from this entanglement.
– Bart

Bart Hawkins Kreps
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada


The trailing moss and mystic glow
Purple blossoms soft as snow
Step up and drop the coin right into the slot
The fading light of sunset glowed
It’s crowded on the narrow road
Who cares whether you forgive me or not. – Bob Dylan

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “Iceland Gulls at Ashbridges Bay: March 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Call the Wildlife People! (I can’t remember their official title, but I’m sure they can be found online). Toronto Wildlife? Ontario Wildlife? I guess I can look it up myself. They will know rescue groups, too!
    A new species of gull, great tree buds and ducks, Ashbridges Bay. What isn’t to like? I know–anything tangled in fishing line. P.S. I didn’t look at the pictures, but I will look up the Wildlife People.
    Thanks, Miles!

  2. Lisa Volkov

    For those poor entangled ducks:

    Ontario Wildlife Rescue
    Located in: Rexall
    Address: 3701 Lake Shore Blvd W, Etobicoke, ON M8W 1P5
    Phone: (416) 436-9892
    Province: Ontario


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *