Walter and Mary Burke Park… Gulls and a Merlin

I visited the park this evening and bumped into Tom Hince, Brian Mcgee and Jared Zaporski… there was an adult Glaucous Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed, 12 Greater Black-backed and hundreds of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls… off in the distance Bonaparte Gulls were in the middle of the lake… As I was leaving at the same time as Tom, he noticed a Merlin in the tree behind a building in downtown New Baltimore… Love Merlins..

Glaucous Gull

Glaucous Gull

Merlin

Merlin

Still looking for Iceland and Thayer’s Gulls

Today there had to be about 500 gulls in Anchor Bay… absolutely amazing… there was the usual size group at Walter and Mary Burke Park in downtown New Baltimore… I got there this evening and bumped into Tom Heatley and Brian Pingilley… We watched the Great Black-backed Gulls harassing the others and found two Lesser Black-backed Gulls.. The one Lesser that I photographed had pink feet and legs that were just beginning to turn yellow… I posted the photo on the North American Gull Facebook page (one of my favorite pages) and Amar Ayyash said that young adults will often have pink feet that will turn yellow as they age… another birder guessed it as a 4th cycle bird because the P10 mirror is small… (gulls suck! ) LOL

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

I also photographed a Ring-billed Gull that had pink tinged feathers.. This is diet related.. oxy-carotenoids, mainly astaxanthin, deposited inside the feathers of the gulls… This carotenoid is what gives Salmon and trout their red pigment.. Makes me wonder what this gull has been eating.. very interesting stuff…

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull