We'd head to the other side of the rail trail in hopes for Blackbirds with Rusty being most preferred but all that would be seen were the Red-winged Blackbirds and one lone Common Grackle. The winds would keep most of them low but three brave females were kind enough to pose for a photo.
Our next stop was Gate 39 (I believe) where the waves would once again be choppy but it wouldn't stop Kevin and others from finding birds including a Red-necked Grebe and Long-tailed Duck and those too would be FOYs for me. I should add that despite the distance I got my best scope view of the Red-necked ever and was able to see and appreciate its heavy yellow bill which made a good imprint in my mind. It would also be here we'd get more questions from regular folks wondering just what the hell we all found so absorbing in the water. It's something I don't think about much as I know what a spotting scope is and just about every bird I see excites me to some degree but I can see why the "average Joe" would be curious to see the site above. A bunch of people with scopes getting all excited as they ramble on about a Yellow bill or projected primaries and they look out the water and see nothing but well......water. I find it's a hobby that perplexes many people who just don't get what the appeal is, but they'll still stick around to ask questions and talk about birds they've seen or heard so at least we generate interest and awareness when out there.
We'd head back to the cars to our next destination and Alan and I along with Donna and Dave would wind up at Mile Hill Road while the rest of the trip members were at Coachlace so after calling Kevin and telling him he didn't lose half his trip we all agreed to meet up again at South Bay. Alan and I would be on our way there when Kevin would call as the others spotted a very large, white looking gull of interest who would turn out to be a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull!
Rick already on the gull as Alan "sets up shop"
Lousy shot but note the proportion of the bird as well as the fleshy looking legs compared to the yellow legs and size of the Ring-billed Gulls to the left and right of the bird. Despite the low quality of the photo, it still shows the proportion of the bird where you'll see its "overall robust and awkwardly front heavy-too big and heavy in front,too cropped in the rear"-as Peter Dunne perfectly describes in on page 270 of his Field Guide Companion
Also note: -page 247-Photo34.17 of Petersons' Gulls of the Americas also shows this nicely as well as the short wing projection you will see above as well).
Another lousy record shot but wanted to get it out there for size comparison of the DC cormorant to the right. Members who got there before us got better looks at the bird face on before it started preening and turn the other way and they'd see the pink bill with black base which is the best way (besides body composition) to differentiate it from a leusistic Great Black-backed Gull.
Our final stop would be Gate 25 just as the sun was starting to set and the birds settling down.
Take care all.