Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Guess What I saw at Indian Lake Today

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I had a little time to myself this afternoon to head to Indian Lake to check to see if any new birds had arrived since I was there last. Nothing new, but did see the group of American Crows that hang around there including the one above, a rather large flock of Juncos, with a few White-throated Sparrows mixed in and of course, the Common Mergansers who didn't have even close to the impressive numbers as a couple of weeks ago as I only had about 25 or so.
But don't despair as I didn't leave empty handed because there were plenty of gulls for me to look at through the scope and take pictures of. Just look at the group above. Who says late November birding is dull!
There were quite a few Herring Gulls including this handsome one above. Such a stoic pose. I actually really like seeing the Herring Gulls as they are not as common as the Ring-billed here in Central Mass so it's more of a treat. Plus, these birds were nearly wiped out between approx 1875 until the early 1900s as they were hunted to be used for women's hats and many also stole their eggs which just goes to show if anyone can make a comeback, it's a gull!
But for the most part, it was all Ring-billed Gulls with a count of about 80.
They would fly from one end of the lake to another. They also spent a lot of time preening by splashing about in the water and were also feeding on something I assume as they would stick their entire head in the water too which was interesting to observe. :-p
And of course, what would any gull post of mine be without the orange tagged gulls!!! There were 4 of them today including number 335 in back. I had gotten down to the shoreline when I realized I didn't bring pen and paper with me and was afraid I would forget and was too lazy to go back up to the car
So this was the genius idea I came up with. Beach walkers will see these all over Indian Lake and wonder what they mean I'm sure.

A gang of Herring Gulls. There were 9 Herring Gulls in total today and it was funny to see some of them forming their own group away from most of the Ring-billed Gulls
Another tagged Ring-billed Gull. Don't know what it did with its tag but I think it's one of the 4 gulls I got numbers of and I am just seeing him from the other side. Will be sending this info to DCR and will post my findings as soon as I get the info as I know you all really look forward to my now weekly posts on the subject! Also note, for those of you in the area, that Ken MacKenzie and Dan Clark from the MA DCR Water Supply Gull Study will be the guest speakers at tomorrows Forbush Bird Club regular meeting. They will be discussing the program and how important it is to get folks to report any tagged gulls they see both locally and country wide (see DCR link if you see any tagged gulls and scroll down to the bottom until you see their email addresses). Should be very interesting.

And just when you thought it couldn't get any more exciting, I present to you a bug on my office window taken while waiting for a conference call to start. The things I do for my readers!

Take care all.


Shelley said...

I enjoyed the gull photos! And what a fantastic yet frightening bug on your office window! lol~!

Mary said...

Kim, gulls are cool birds. I admire your energy and enthusiasm. It never runs out, does it? LOL!

Kelly said...

Hhaha! I like your idea of snapping photos of the gull ID numbers. I'm sure you have set some people to wondering what those numbers are for...

Patrick Belardo said...

Probably a Western Conifer Seed Bug.

madcobug said...

Great photos. Yucky buggy. Helen

Chris Petrak said...

Just checking in after my travels - and catching up. Lots of good birding in the NE during bleak November, we just have to get out. You obviously have. Hope I can get over to Salisbury soon.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Ha! I had one of these bugs on my office window too!

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