Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bonaparte's Gull Pier 17

It seems that I can never go directly to any destination anymore. Every time I run out to do an errand I find my car driving itself to some location where there are birds. I took these pictures on a short outing about two weeks ago. Pier 17 is a hub of gull activity. Mostly, there are Iceland Gulls, Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls and this single Bonaparte's Gull. It is hard to say if this is one of the Bonaparte's that I photographed at QV Lake but it seems likely.
 The Bonaparte's Gull is a very small gull and most resembles the Black-headed Gulls. It is easy to distinguish by its black beak. The Black-headed Gulls have a bright red/orange colored beak. The second difference is the color of the legs. In this shot the bright red-orange legs of the Black-headed Gull can be seen in the right of the picture. By comparison the Bonaparte's legs are much more pale.
Its small size does not deter this little gull from jumping right in with the much larger gulls to find its "daily bread." It is possible at Pier 17, if the light is right, to get some great pictures. However, there are days that the sun is too bright or non-existent. It often depends on the time of the day but this is a great place to practice photography as the gulls are always in motion.

Note:  Pier 17 was where birder Dave Brown found the very rare Black-tailed Gull.

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