Thursday, 27 September 2012

Lesser Black-backed Gull - Port Stanley

I'm guessing if anyone is following this blog they likely follow Brandon Holden's blog as well and are aware of the "50 Days of Rare competition". In a nutshell, a bunch of birders are seeing who can find the "rarest" bird over the next 6-7 weeks. So far the best I have been able to do is a Lesser Black-backed Gull that I found today at Port Stanley today. It seems like everyone is finding these guys this year.

Lesser Black-backed Gull

At Port Burwell there were hundreds of gulls but nothing rare amongst them that I could see. Six Sanderling were a nice consolation prize on the west beach along with three Black-bellied Plovers.


Yesterday at Turkey Point I checked the beach and was surprised at the large amount of shorebird habitat along the beach. The low water levels are a bonus for shorebirding this fall. I spied a single American-golden Plover amongst the more numerous Black-bellieds, and there were several Baird's Sandpipers mixed in with the more regular peeps.

 Turkey Point beach

 Baird's Sandpipers
Black-bellied Plover on the left, American Golden-Plover on the right.
 At first I thought I "found" the AGPL but after checking ebird I realized one (perhaps this one) was first seen on September 22nd by several observers. If we pretend this was a mega-rarity and I was hoping to win the 50 days of rare competition with this bird, I may not be able to count it as a "self-found" bird. The rules are strict and the issue of "news ignorance" and "re-finds" is dealt with. See for all the rules

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