Temporarily eschewing the Yankees-Red Sox game, I stopped by the
Charlotte Town Beach on this glorious afternoon (18 Oct 2004) for about 30
minutes. With clear skies and bright sunlight to the southwest, my visit
was an excellent lesson in the effects that lighting can have on the
appearance of birds. There were good numbers of BONAPARTE'S GULLS foraging
over the middle of the lake, so I followed them in my scope, looking for
something different. I was hoping for a rare gull, but instead I found at
least one late COMMON TERN. I identified the bird as a Common based on its
capped head and a substantial amount of dark in the primaries.
While watching the Bonaparte's, I noticed that there was a group of
about 10 of them that were foraging in a relatively tight, synchronized
group. Together they would fly into the light north wind, and then, in
unison, they would all wheel around to the south. I was quite interested
by this behavior, which I had never observed before. I thought that they
were probably following some food source, and they did all drop down to the
water together once or twice. On the fringe of this group, I also noticed
two larger gulls, with gray backs and black wingtips, flying with a
similar, choppy flight style as the neighboring
Bonaparte's. Unfortunately, they were too far away to get any more details.
Tomorrow looks like a nice morning to be out, with light north
winds. Perhaps I'll see some of you there...
P.S. I forgot to mention that Julie and I saw 10 TURKEY VULTURES in