Sunday, January 17, 2010

MA - IVORY GULL - 01/17

After a near miss (by one day) at Plymouth, MA last January 2009, we didn't expect to be given a second chance so soon. The discovery of this bird on a Provincetown beach on January 14th had both myself and Susannah on edge for several days before our first opportunity to go finally arrived on Sunday morning. A family twitch ensued. We left Amherst at 0540hrs and arrived at Race Point parking lot at 0915hrs after a pleasantly traffic free drive. Conditions couldn't have been better for mid-January - nice and mild, nearly windless and partly cloudy. The bird itself was walking (quite literally) down the shoreline at a nice pace, picking at food items as it went. It was just a question of staying put and letting the bird walk past. During our two hour stay, it was constantly on view, much to the delight of a steady stream of birding visitors. It was also the only gull on the beach during that period. All in all, it was quite bizarre - a stunningly beautiful gull parading up and down the beach on foot, and no apparent fear of the public.

The day went on to produce seven more gull species; Black-legged Kittiwake (40+), Kumlien's Gull (11, including 8 adults), Lesser Black-backed and Glaucous Gull, plus American Herring, Great Black-backed and Ring-billed Gulls, recalling another outstanding day for gulls on the Outer Cape back in November 2008. A truly amazing place for birding.

Ivory Gull - Adult, Race Point Beach, Provincetown, MA. January 17th, 2010. Found by Ivan Ace and Ed Yargeau on January 14th.

Glaucous Gull - Second-cycle (center), Pilgrim Lake, Truro, MA. January 17th, 2010.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (left) and adult Kumlien's Gull (right) with American Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. Pilgrim Lake, Truro, January 17th, 2010.


Vincent said...

Wow James,

that's a real bird!!


Vince from Holland

Hilke Breder said...

Gorgeous bird - gorgeous photos!

Nick Bonomo said...

Congrats James, fantastic bird.

Larry said...

Nice bird...perhaps it would like to make a slight inland detour on its way home.

John said...

Great photos! Learned about the Ivory gull when I returned home from a not so successful day along the southcoast Plymouth to Sciuate. Wish I had known earlier. Teach me to just wander!

Kiralyka said...

Oh man that Ivory Gull is gorgeous!

dAwN said...

A beauty! very nice captures!

gwatkevich said...

I've never had the opportunity to see an ivory gull. Great photo's and bird sighting to bring in the new year. How long was in the area?
Greg Watkevich