When I first started birdwatching, I could safely say that I could identify a Blue Jay, but I soon learned that a Blue Jay doesn't look the same all year. When this molting jay visited by feeder, I thought I should call the bird doctor. He looked so sick, but I soon learned that jays molt and this is a normal occurrence. I didn't know that. There is so much that I didn't know and still don't, but as I set out to do, I am still learning all along the way.
Some are much easier to identify than others. For me to have a chance at accurately identifying sparrows, I have to photograph them and then study the books. Even then, I can't always come up with the ID and have to ask for help. Who knew that identifying birds was so challenging.
Seagulls have also presented some amazing challenging. I never knew there were so many kinds. Newfoundland is considered by many and "the" place to go to see the many species of seagulls. During this year I have seen the Ring-billed Gull (pictured here), Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Iceland Gull, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Glaucaus Gull, Black-headed Gull, and the less common Laughing Gull, Common Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Slaty-backed Gull and the very rare Black-tailed Gull. During the year I missed seeing one of the all-time favorites - the Ivory Gull and the Thayer Gull. I certainly look at the huge flocks of gulls on Quidi Vidi Lake and area in a totally different light.