Date: 4/12/18 1:16 pm
From: Frank Fogarty via VA-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: Re: [VA-bird] Shrike update; gull ID question; burn results (Fairfax County)
My guess is that you haven't been misidentifying them, Stephen. Those large
flocks throughout the winter likely are Ring-billed (many gulls species
'commute' between their roosts and feeding areas on a daily basis, which is
unusual for landbirds). Maybe they are roosting at the nearby landfill? I'm
guessing you just caught a migrating flock of Bonaparte's this week. I
would think large groups of that species would be unusual during the winter
away from large bodies of water, and you don't really see them using dumps,
parking lots, or ag fields for foraging.

Best,

Frank Fogarty

On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 12:55 PM, Shea Tiller via VA-bird <
<va-bird...> wrote:

> Steve: Laughing gulls would be quite rare up there in the winter months I
> think.
>
> On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 1:28 PM, Stephen Johnson via VA-bird <
> <va-bird...> wrote:
>
> >
> > 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?
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Steve Johnson
> > Fairfax, Virginia
> >
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