Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A gull of the Ivory variety

In case you haven't heard, an immature Ivory Gull was found in Cape May, NJ on Friday. This is the 5th record of this species for NJ - 1940, 1955, and 2 in 1986. So, as you can imagine, the NJ birding scene and much of the mid-Atlantic is buzzing about the bird. As you may recall, I saw my first Ivory Gull in Piermont, NY in 2007. That didn't stop me from going to see this one in my own state. So, down I headed the 2+ hour drive very early on Sunday. I got to the marina that it favors and only had to wait 15 minutes or so before the gorgeous white creature appeared. I was joined by friends from VA and NJ and we spent a long while photographing and observing the bird. It was insanely accommodating, doing circuits over the crowd of birders, perching close by for photos, and picking from the water. It was nuts. Here are some photos.

Cape May Ivory Gull Photos - Nov. 29, 2009

Oh and did I mention it was a spectacularly sunny and warm day for late November? After viewing the gull, we hit some of the other Cape May hotspots. We got word of a Selasphorus hummingbird at a local feeder which we got to see. We also saw Eurasian Wigeon, Common Eiders, a few lingering Baltimore Orioles, a Bald Eagle or three, and a few lovely Red-shouldered Hawks. We struck out on the Swainson's Hawk that's been down there for nearly a month. All in all, it was a great day to be out. The gull is still being seen as of today. So if you didn't see one of the Massachusetts birds last year, you get a second shot. Although not an adult, this bird is still a beauty and it's a chance to see a bird that is not only rare in the US, but becoming more rare globally.


Rick said...

I'd say b e c a u s e it's not an adult it's a beauty!
Great bird, great photos.

OpposableChums said...

Carless NYC dwellers are often at a frustrating loss when these treats appear outside of the 5 boroughs...

John said...

Congrats on the state bird! I still haven't seen it myself. I'm hoping it will stick around a while longer.

Jochen said...

Oh well, just another variety of white Domestic Pigeon, right?
No idea why birders get sooo excited about it, really, I fail to see the big deal.


Well, and yeah, congrats as well, right?

Kim said...

Congratulations Patrick. You got some outstanding shots of it to boot!

Loreen Niewenhuis said...

Nice shots! Lovely that it was so cooperative.

-Loreen Niewenhuis