Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Franklin's Gull Bolton Flats May 29, 2013

I'd be at work today and see a new post come in on the Facebook Central Mass Birders Page by Justin of a black headed gull he spotted at Bolton Flats which looked bigger than a Bonaparte's.  It wouldn't take long for an update as Jess had joined him and was able to confirm the gull as a Franklin's.  I'd be lucky that it was close to lunch by then and I'd just complete a project so figured I could get away with taking an extended lunch and just work later than usual to make up for the mid day birding!  I'd get there and see John and Audrey on their way down the path and be happy as it would be more eyes to search for the bird.

It wouldn't take long for John to spot it way out near the green houses napping right near the blue awning pictured above.  While it wouldn't be the best look, I'd be appreciative of John letting me use his scope to see it better than just my bins.

Word had gotten out of the gull by then as other birders arrived including Alan, Paul and Peter where we'd all look at the gull way out and hoping a woman nearby would flush it closer.

And sure enough she would as the gull would fly off and closer to us for better views!

Where it landed closer to the large puddle near the "T" and continued to preen.

Not the best disgicoped photo but does a half way decent job of showing the white spots (that are larger than a Laughing Gull) on the wing tips.

And this shot which isn't as bad that really shows those white "eye arcs" as well as the relatively short bill.   After much gawking of the gull a few of us would make our way toward the parking lot when Paul would let us know Peter had found a sleeping Common Nighthawk so naturally we went back to see if for ourselves.

And this is what we'd see for an added bonus as this would be the first time ever I'd see a nighthawk remaining still.

We'd proceed to head toward our cars and would soon see the Franklin's Gull flying to the right of us near the wetlands of the parking lot where the Bittern can be heard often so naturally watched it to see what it would do.  I'd be fixated on its flight as it barely flapped its wings as it ascended up in the air in an effort to gain altitude it seemed but were hoping that wasn't the case as others have yet to see it so let's cross our fingers.

So yet again another real cool Worcester County bird (iin fact, a lifer) and I believe a county record.  Just goes to show what team work can do as Justin and Jess were able to spot, confirm and communicate a very special bird allowing many others to see it.

Take care all.

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