Thursday 20 December 2012

Neglected birds

With all the interesting birds around I've been neglecting some of the more common ones.

Purple Finches are in low numbers this winter in Newfoundland, but 4 of them have been visiting my neighbourhood feeders regularly over the last few days:

Somewhat surprisingly, House Finch has never been recorded in Newfoundland! One of these days...

I've found over 10 Song Sparrows already this week! Any wet patch along the ponds and lakes, among big flocks of juncos and at feeders is where I've been finding them.

Iceland Gull is probably one of the most numerous species in town. Especially at the harbour.

Compare the wingtips of the previous Iceland Gull with this next one.
On page 252 of the "Gulls of the Americas" book is a sketch showing the variation in Iceland Gull wingtip patterns. The previous Iceland Gull seems good for a "stage 4", but the next one seems to go off the charts beyond "stage 5".
The book suggests that this may be a possible Iceland X Thayer's gull hybrid! Probably impossible to ever know, but I'm going to assume that it's 'just' an ICGU.
Still neat to see the variation.

Cape Spear today: