Thursday 18 June 2015

Two For the Price of One - Little Gulls at St Shotts

Little Gull is a rare bird in province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Over the last couple of decades there has perhaps been an average of 0.8 individuals per year.  The vast majority of Newfoundland records have been one year old birds in the June to August time period.  The source of the birds must be  Hudson Bay breeders. But why would the sub adults come east in summer? There are no Bonaparte's Gulls or other birds often associated with the occurrences of Little Gulls in Newfoundland. Little Gulls in Newfoundland have pattern not yet related to anything else known about the species in North America.

Today (18 June 2015) Ken Knowles and I stumbled across two first summer Little Gulls at St Shotts. These are the first Little Gulls ever seen at St Shotts. They were resting on rocks in the river at first then began some fly catching over the river running into the cove and later fed with a couple of Arctic Terns on the ocean near shore. We had to leave so do not have a good sense on whether the duo will hang in at St Shotts or move on.

A few pictures of the two birds are here.

One Little Gull standing on a rock where found initially.

The pale bird was more worn looking than the other

The worn pale Little Gull is below and crisper bird above.

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