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VTBIRD  August 2016

VTBIRD August 2016

Subject:

Re: Little Gull by kayak

From:

Sue <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 07:36:58 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (79 lines)

Cheese doodles was used to keep the black tailed gull around. Besides anyone who has seen what gulls eat at the beach where they grab what ever available from beachgoers shouldn't be concerned about chips.
The fact that gulls seem to be doing well is the proof that they can survive their diet.
Sue Wetmore 

Sent from my iPod

> On Aug 18, 2016, at 7:01 AM, Diane Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Congratulations on getting closer to your goal. I also wondered about your
> use of chips rather than old fashioned patience. I am not so sure baiting
> wildlife so you can get a picture is a good example of being a responsible
> birder.
> 
> Diane Brown
> Middlebury
> 
> 
> 
> 
>> On Thursday, August 18, 2016, Roo Slagle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Great successful story.
>> What do chips do for a gull's stomach?
>> 
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> 
>> On Aug 17, 2016, at 8:40 PM, Tyler Pockette <[log in to unmask]
>> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>> 
>> Hi all,
>> 
>> After Jim and Ted's report of a Little Gull at Charlotte Town Beach this
>> afternoon, I headed up in hopes the bird would still be there and be close
>> enough to shore that I could get a photo that would be acceptable for my
>> photo big year (a task that can be very difficult at this location because
>> the birds tend to hang out WAY offshore). I was disappointed upon arrival
>> to hear that the Little Gull had not been seen in a while, and lighting
>> conditions were rapidly declining as the sun got lower.
>> 
>> Luckily, I had taken my kayak with me as a last resort option if I needed
>> to get a closer approach to obtain a photo. Even more luckily, I had
>> stopped at the gas station on the way to buy a bag of chips so I could get
>> $6 cash back to pay for the parking at the beach. I could see a flock of
>> about 30 Bonaparte's Gulls loafing on the water in the midst of the sun's
>> reflection about a mile offshore, so I decided to throw the kayak in the
>> water and paddle blindly in hopes of relocating the flock on the off chance
>> that the Little Gull was hiding somewhere among them.
>> 
>> I made it to the area where I thought the birds had been when I left land
>> but could not see any gulls on the water. A couple of Ring-billed Gulls
>> passed by so I decided my last effort would be to rile up a some action by
>> getting the Ring-bills to feed on some chips. I started tossing chips into
>> the water and they dove down to me. I tried mimicking their squawks as loud
>> as I could to draw attention from any other gulls nearby. It only took a
>> few moments before I could see gulls heading my way from every direction
>> around me. Within a minute, I had about a dozen Ring-billed Gulls and just
>> as many Bonaparte's Gulls circling and diving around me, with many more
>> gulls on their way towards me in the distance. That's when the Little Gull
>> came in. I immediately noticed its small size and then the dark underwings.
>> It was a gorgeous adult in breeding plumage that circled my kayak several
>> times, coming as close as 20 feet. It was actually too close, as it's very
>> difficult to maneuver a kayak in circles while trying to photograph a fast
>> moving bird in flight. I really wish I had brought more chips out with me,
>> because it didn't take long for the gulls to clean me out, get bored, and
>> return to their lazy floating. I imagine an active feeding flock like that
>> must look pretty enticing to a passing Jaeger...
>> 
>> On the way home I also encountered my first Common Nighthawk of the year in
>> Vergennes.
>> 
>> Little Gull and Common Nighthawk were birds #231 and 232 photographed in VT
>> for the year. A link to my new photo big year photos:
>> 
>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/141790488@N02/with/28769087520/
>> 
>> Happy birding!
>> Tyler Pockette
>> 

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