Sunday 8 July 2018

July Weekend Warrior

This blog is low on the list of priorities these days and probably forever...

Weekends are my main opportunity to get out and explore. Here are some recent photos:

This Little Egret was only the 11th record for the province. It has been reliably seen at Spaniard's Bay for over 4 weeks now.

An unusually early Lesser Scaup was back at the local moulting pond. In previous years they returned in late August or September.

For the 5th year running we've had a Tufted Duck spend the entire summer season in St. John's.
The Iceland migrants start coming back in the first few days of August.

Another unusual mid-summer bird was this American Coot. We still don't have a confirmed breeding record for the island of Newfoundland:

This flock of kittiwakes at Trepassey this morning included one smaller gull with a sooty mantle.

Based on its relatively small size I was sure it was a Franklin's Gull 

It eventually did one fly-by revealing its true identity as the more expected, but still rare, Laughing Gull.

It is in first summer plumage. Distinguished from Franklin's Gull by the complete dark tail-band, and slightly drooping bill.

Nearby a small forest fire was giving the water bomber some early summer practice:

The true aerial experts were showing off at Ferryland:

Arctic Terns are an uncommon breeding species around the Avalon. There must be a decent sized colony on one of the offshore islands at Ferryland as they almost always seem to be doing rounds of the main beach:

Today they were taking advantage of the rolling capelin: