Date: 4/12/18 10:33 am
From: Stephen Johnson via VA-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [VA-bird] Shrike update; gull ID question; burn results (Fairfax County)

Hello birders,

The Northern Shrike showed up today at Sully Woodlands.

I have a gull ID question, please. Every morning in the winter, I see scores or hundreds of gulls flying over Sully Woodlands towards NW. In the afternoon they return SE. I have always assumed they were a common inland winter gull, Ring-billed.

This morning, I saw a flock of similar-sized gulls flying NW as usual. They all had black hoods like Laughing or Bonaparte's. Is there any good reason to eliminate one of those two species? Unfortunately I saw no other obvious field marks.

Question number 2, (gulp), is it possible I've been misidentifying hundreds of gulls during the past few winters - were they likely Laughing or Bonaparte's?

Final topic, the county burned another parcel (section) of the big meadow here yesterday. After last winter's burn, there were many hundreds of birds foraging in the burned area for several days - lots of RW Blackbirds and Robins, but also a good 8-10 species taking advantage. But today, one day after the recent burn, not much of anything. I don't think there were as many birds in the burned area today, as in similar areas outside of it.

Very interesting - my best guess is it's the season. The birds have so many other good sources for food, they're not interested this time. Any thoughts on that, anyone?

Steve Johnson
Fairfax, Virginia

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