Sunday, December 02, 2012

Gulls at the Edison Boat Basin

Yesterday morning I made a couple stops at Middlesex County locations. The first was Morgan Mudflats, which I will have more about in a subsequent post. The second was Edison Boat Basin. A lot of times I stop there when there are very few gulls around, but yesterday morning there were thousands. I suspect the activity on top of the Edgeboro Landfill had something to do with that. A work crew was moving trash around, which attracted thousands of gulls that swirled in the air above the landfill. Another thousand or so were sitting on the river or loafing on the boat ramp.

The best bird was a Glaucous Gull that flew past the boat basin and then joined some Herring Gulls circling over Kin-Buc (a closed landfill on the Edison side of the river). I would have preferred to see it on the ground at close range, but it was fun to watch a white-winged gull in flight. It looked impressively white — closer to an egret than a first-year Herring Gull on the waterbird scale of whiteness. (In fact, when I spotted a large white bird flying past, I raised my binoculars expecting to see an egret.) At first it looked all white, from wingtip to wingtip, but when it turned, I could see some grayish streaking on its back and wing coverts. There was no sign of any dark marking on its wingtips. It looked larger and bulkier than the Herring Gulls it joined.

Speaking of Herring Gulls, here is a second or third-year bird that perched on one of the boat ramp docks. Herring Gulls were the most numerous of the gulls that I could identify yesterday.

Ring-billed Gulls were also present at the boat ramp.