This trip with Chris Feeney would be my 3rd try for the Yellow-legged Gull, that has been seen of and on every winter for a few years.
We decided to make this a crazy, go for the rarities trip….first 3 days in St. John’s for the Gull, then leave from Halifax in my car and drive to St. John, New Brunswick for the 3 Shelduck and then on to Rhode Island for the Graylag Goose. Chris would then fly home and I’d drive 8 hours back home.
I drove the 13 hours to Halifax Airport (a trip I’ve done many times) and caught my flight to St. John’s on January 9th. Chris had arrived in the middle of the previous night and had a good yet short sleep and was raring to go.
Off we went in the rental car and over the next 2 1/2 days glassed over 10,000 gulls hoping to see the Yellow-legged Gull or the even harder Kelp Gull, but the gulls had a different idea. The weather was warm but the winds high, the gulls were spooky with all the Eagles in the area and you’d no sooner started to go over a flock when they’d all take off as a group and then resettle. You’d then have to start scanning through them again……
I’ve seen a few Yellow-legged Gulls in Europe but never in the ABA.
Well we did that for 2 1/2 days, we saw birds that could have been but they never were. We saw birds that are very hard to find anywhere else in the ABA but easy here. Tufted Duck, Eurasian Widgeon, Adult Iceland Gull, Black-headed Gull and Common Gulls, but the Yellow-legged Gull was a no show.
First Winter Black-headed Gull
Winter Plumage Black-headed Gull
1st Winter Glaucous Gull
Iceland Gull Adult Winter
Iceland Gull 1st winter
Almost Pure Iceland Gull Adult winter
Lesser Black-backed Gull Adult Winter
Was good having dinner with Jared Clarke and sharing stories over a good meal and a few pints.
Ciao for now