Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Long-tailed Duck

Adult male in basic plumage with just the faintest hint of pre-alternate molt. March 27th 2010 at Barnegat Inlet in NJ. A fairly fresh northerly wind that day making the rock jetty too treacherous (and bird-free) to walk out on very far. This was shot from the concrete walkway. The wind has obvious disadvantages - this bird was bobbing around a lot so the number of sharp images was low. However the advantage is that it blew its long tail up out of the water. The bird was actively feeding - you can see how the wings are held a little away from the body in readiness for diving.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Iceland Gull, Sandy Hook, Feb 10th 2010

This was my first - and so far only - Iceland Gull for 2010, a first winter immature on the bay shore outside the SHBO location. Not overly tame, it nevertheless came close enough to take a shot at after I waited quietly for a while. The downsampled image on here looks a lot softer than the full-size one you'll see if you click on the image. The mostly dark bill (not bicolored) and the patterning on the mantle feathers are pretty strong indicators for this being a first year, which I think is the age of the vast majority of Iceland Gulls I've seen in the NYC-NJ area in winter.