Friday, January 4, 2013

An Unusual Gull

A front blew through south Texas on New Years Day and it has been cold, windy, and misty since.  Not exactly the perfect weather for bird photography!!  We did get a chance to drive the Bayside Loop here at Laguna Atascosa NWR and see what was out in the Laguna Madre.

In a small group of gulls we noticed that one was very dark.  It was sitting among some of the common Ring-billed and Herring Gulls.  On closer inspection we identified it as a Lesser Black-backed Gull, which is listed as "Accidental" on the refuge list, meaning that it has only been seen once or twice.

In the picture you can see that it is much darker than the smaller Ring-billed and larger Herring Gulls.

Lesser Black-backed Gull
We also saw a large flock of Willets.  These common shorebirds are generally dull and gray until they fly.  In flight they display a striking black and white wing pattern.  A large group in flight is a treat to see. In the picture you might notice that a pair of Redheads went along on the flight!

Willets in flight
Sometimes we don't realize that we "saw" a bird until we look at the pictures.  In the picture below I noticed some brown shorebirds mixed into the group.  With their slightly upturned bills they can be identified as Marbled Godwits. Should I count them as "seen" if I only see them in the picture???
Flying Willets with Marbled Godwits

Once we get some better weather I'll get out and get more pictures.  So stay tuned!!



  1. I've had that happen.... not realize what was there until I look at the picture later. But heck... a bird is a bird is a bird..... but then, I don't keep much of a list....

  2. Love your photo's don't comment much but love looking. Thank you for sharing

    1. Welcome to the Blog Jo!
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