Waterbird Count, April 12 — Black-legged Kittiwake!

A fairly slow day until the last 10 minutes when I saw a smaller gull that I thought was going to be the first Bonaparte’s of the season. As it got closer, I noticed the black collar on its nape and the bold, black M pattern on its wings, which didn’t have black trailing edges. It was in fact a first cycle BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE. I was able to get very good views as it gradually flew northwest into a strong headwind across the straits, landing several times on the water. I called Steve Baker to come and try to photograph it, but it was pretty distant by the time he arrived, though he may have got some identifiable shots. A very exciting and unexpected bird!

Aside from that, it was business as usual. Many Turkey Vultures were on the move.

Redhead – 5
White-winged Scoter – 16
Long-tailed Duck – 419
Common Goldeneye – 4
Common Merganser – 3
Red-breasted Merganser – 99
Unidentified duck sp. – 38
Horned Grebe – 1
Double-crested Cormorant – 5
Black-legged Kittiwake – 1

Turkey Vulture – 140
Bald Eagle – 6
Red-tailed Hawk – 1