Thursday, 14 April 2011

Local birding

Work kept me in for most of the day today, but I did manage to sneak for an hour late afternoon (not the best time time of day, admittedly).
I took a stroll down to Government House and had a trundle around the woodland path, to the rear of the building. The bluffs and garry oaks here really do help conjure up visions of lost vagrants and weary northbound migrants... we'll have to see about that! 
The place was actually quite birdy and alongside the common chestnut-backed chickadees, bushtits, Anna's hummingbirds and the like, there were still good numbers of ruby-crowned kinglet and a pair of yellow-rumped warbler busily gleaning insects from the emergent buds.
Red-breasted nuthatch, brown creeper and northern flicker all kept me entertained and several smart golden-crowned sparrows looked neat in their newly acquired breeding finery.

Oh, and our first Anna's hummingbird came to the feeder this morning. Hopefully, we'll see more hummer action - it's been a bit slow thus far... 

Sometimes, Good Guys Don't Wear White

Regarding yesterday's gull - I was grateful to receive word from two top local birders, Jeremy Gatten and Ian Cruickshank, that the bird is indeed a mew gull - but simply a heavily worn bird. I have to say that I have never seen as bleached-out a worn first year common gull, and I didn't realise that mew gulls could appear so strikingly pale. The pale brown/cream primaries really threw me, hence my assumption that it was a leucistic bird.

Thanks Jeremy and Ian - your comments were most welcome - I'll certainly be looking at 1st cal mew gulls more closely from here on in! As they say, every day's a school day...
Here are a couple more pics of the bird for those who might want to see some other shots.

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