Friday, June 12, 2009

Variation in 1st summer Little Gulls

I enjoyed studying two young Little Gulls that have been recently frequenting the Manitowoc Impoundment on June 11th. One of the birds was obviously more advanced in its plumage and showed a mostly hooded head with a prominent white patch on the forehead. This birds dark carpal bars were also much more evident when just scanning over the flock.I was able to get several shots of this bird with its wings up (something I failed to get on the other bird). One of the shots is almost head-on, but the comparison of the LIGUs upperwing and the prominence of the carpal bar in flight really contrasts with the adjacent first summer Bonaparte's Gulls (see right). And finally, here is a shot of three adult male Aythya species in one field of view (LESC on the right). Not something you see everyday in June on Lake Michigan!