Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter Gulls

Glaucous Gull
Hannah & I took a drive today around Waterloo Region, looking for gulls in the vicinity of the Erb St. landfill and then further afield to Conestogo Lake Conservation Area, north of Waterloo. We spent a couple of hours examining the gulls in the vicinity of the landfill, and were able to find a number of interesting white-winged gulls mixed in with the more numerous Herring Gulls. Pictured to the right is an adult Glaucous Gull (one of nine Glaucous Gulls we saw, in several age categories).

Also present were two Iceland Gulls (first cycle), one Thayer's Gull (first cycle), and two Great Black-backed Gulls (one second[?] cycle, one adult). Looking at the richness of variation in the many Herring Gulls present was also interesting; different age classes, different sizes, individual variation in plumage and bill colour/shape. Overall it was a nice opportunity to study the gulls.

Rough-legged Hawk (dark morph)
Our drive to Conestogo Lake Conservation Area did not yield an abundance of bird sightings but we did see several Rough-legged Hawks, both dark and light morphs.

It was calm and peaceful out in the countryside. The sun was shining and it was not too cold.

We had a birthday dinner to attend, but on our way back to Waterloo there was a group of 11 Wild Turkeys right next to the side of the road. Most of them darted off when we slowed the car, but one posed nicely for a photo.

Wild Turkey
It is always nice to blend a day of birding with other activities, and since I had a gift certificate from Myriam for a kitchen store in St. Jacob's, we stopped in to see what kitchen tool I could buy. As a result I am the proud owner of a professional grade pepper mill with a lifetime warranty. Now I don't know how I ever lived my life without it.