Saturday, February 1, 2020

Prospect Lake Black headed Gull

On this heavily overcast day when I had to do errands, among them getting bird seed from Lowe's,the afternoon was my birding hour. And it was a good hour.

With my cheap Denali scope, my objective was just chill out at the West Shore gazebo and look at prospect lake. I have to confess it was nothing much there. But patience is a virtue and waiting long enough can bring rewards. I first scanned with my binoculars and then decided to open the scope to scan the gulls numbering about 100 total. But you can't delude yourself that nothing rare will show up with small flocks.

I did several scope sweeps of the all Ring billed gull flock. Sticking to my regimen for another sweep " pops the weasel" ( if you know the rhyme),a BLACK HEADED GULL appears.It must've just landed on the water. It moved about trying to avoid ring billed harassment. At first the mostly dark bill threw me off a little but in my scope I could see red base color. I described in my Ebird report below.

 Tripper Paul fortunately came along ,via my tweet, and took photos. We could ascertained more field marks and discussed it as a  non breeding adult bird that's molting.

Certainly a powerful birding lazy hour for me to enjoy. But a last word: it's kind of funny I see this rare gull in prospect after waiting over an hour last Sunday at Brooklyn bridge park that was a no show. I surmised that it wasn't my patch of woods. 😄

Kb note: a quick check of prospects checklist says the  was last sighting happened March 10th 2018 (Malbin). But....

Seen again two days later by Rafael Campos Source: Prospect Lake checklist