Monday, January 11, 2010

January 10 - Mew Gull in Brooklyn

Friends Andy, Jen, Bill and I started at Point Lookout this very cold morning. It was about 8-10 degrees ! There were lots of birds, yet many were a bit far away to view well with the heat waves coming up into the air from the warmer water. We did have nove views of Harlequin Ducks, Black Scoters, Common Eider, Red-Breasted Mergansers, Long-Tailed Ducks etc.

After some Hot Chocolate to warm our bones we headed back west towards Brooklyn's Bensonhurst Park to try for the Mew Gull that has been seen there since December 26th. We ran into fellow birders Beverly & Barry from West Virginia and they told us they had not yet seen the bird in their 30 minutes before we arrived. After another 30 minutes the call went out that the bird was being seen about 1/4 mile to our west, at the foot of the pedestrian bridge that goes over the Belt Parkway. We walked as quickly as our multi-layered clothes would allow and were able to see the bird from very close range for nearly 30 minutes before the flock was disturbed by some of the many people there using the park for jogging ,dog walking etc.

This Mew Gull is the European subspecies often called Common Gull. There is an American subspecies which can be seen in winter months along the Pacific Coast. I've not yet seen the West Coast birds, so my life bird Mew Gull will be the European one.

Here is one image of the bird, other fine pictures can be seen on Andrew Bakash's blog: