Lesser Black-backed Gull and Many White-throats: May 2021

I was out at dawn to the lower Bluffs near Brimley Road.

Bank Swallow colony
Bumble Bee

In the boat launch parking lot, some people have the unfortunate habit of throwing their fast food litter about. It does, however, attract gulls who will happily eat almost anything.

Among these gulls was a Lesser Black-backed Gull:

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Unlike the enormous Great Black-backed Gull, Lessers are just a little larger than a Ring-billed Gull. Common in Europe, they are rare but increasing in numbers in North America.

Other gulls in these photos are a juvenile Herring Gull (which is larger than a Ring-billed Gull and has pink legs):

juvenile Herring Gull (in focus)
American Crow and juvenile Herring Gull

Ring-bills:

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

Ring-bills and Herring Gulls show black wings tips. Another gull here today does not: an Iceland Gull:

Iceland Gull
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull and Iceland Gull (crow behind)
American Crow and juvenile Herring Gull
American Crow
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull (juvenile Herring Gull behind)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (juvenile Herring Gull behind)
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull

For the next few weeks, ever larger numbers of birds will be in our area as migration reaches its peak.

During June Breeding Bird Surveys in Northern Ontario, I have sometimes been thrilled to hear as many as five White-throated Sparrows singing their “Dear sweet Canada Canada Canada” chants at the same time. This morning I heard at least a dozen singing at the same moment!

White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow

MYSTERY BIRD

At the end of the post, I will identify it.

Other birds:

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Trumpeter Swans
Northern Cardinal (male)
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Brown Thrasher
Chipping Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Common Grackle
Common Grackle
Double-crested Cormorant
Common Raven
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Chipping Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird (female)
Song Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorant
Brown Thrasher
Brown Thrasher
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Common Raven
Common Raven

MYSTERY BIRD

The well-named Black and White Warbler

Black and White Warbler

MAILBOX

Hi Miles,

I have never seen brown wing feathers on a Hairy Woodpecker before.  Is this unusual?

Miles note: I have never seen this before.

NATURE POETRY

I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment  

while I was hoeing in a village garden,  

and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance  

than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.       – William Wordsworth

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “Lesser Black-backed Gull and Many White-throats: May 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Another hybrid? I would love to know what’s up with the brown feathers! Wonderful, to see two more varieties of gulls, and a Black and White Warbler (so many types of Warbler!) Must have been great to hear those White-throated Sparrow choruses! I think I saw a Raven early one morning in my neighbourhood–it seemed to be way too big to be a crow, but I’m not sure. And the Brown Thrashers, Hermit Thrush–all the pictures and birds were absolutely great! I love this place. Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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