Another New Lifer at Lake Ontario!

As I mentioned on Sunday, I travelled up Lake Rd. which mostly looks like this between Irondequit Bay and Mill Creek:

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Up and down winding hills that all look the same, with woods on the south side and lake and stupid mansions on the north side. I located the pond and there weren’t very many birds at all – a mallard pair and a couple of geese:

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So I went up to Mill Creek, which runs into Lake Ontario, and saw a bunch of Mallards. Nothing new here either, but it was fun to watch them preen:

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Then I walked down to the lakeshore, and saw some gulls floating around in the water. Ring-billed gulls. Got ’em already:
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Then I saw some gulls on this pipe thing (what the heck is that anyway)?

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Great Black-backed Gulls (Larus marinus) – Mon@rch is almost positive this is what these two birds are! Can anyone confirm this?  According to All About Birds, this is the largest gull in the world.
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Thanks again Mon@rch for your help! I’m off to buy Sibley’s Birding Basics and Sibley’s Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America.  I’ve got a lot to learn.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary
    Jan 09, 2007 @ 08:23:06

    I just love seeing those photos through a tinted windshield! LOL! Your camera shots are great, Pam. I can ID the last bird, *Headless Gull*.

    We both have much to learn but I think you are way, way ahead of me.


  2. Pam
    Jan 09, 2007 @ 08:50:20

    Thanks Mary! Driving along. . . you know how it is! Headless Gull – there you go, we got another one!
    I’ve got a l-o-n-g way to go in this birds id thing! But the process is fun, isn’t it! And what’s great is we know wonderful people that are willing to help us!


  3. Mon@rch
    Jan 09, 2007 @ 15:13:36

    I am not the best with my gulls but it does appear to have juv plumage of the Greater Black-backed Gull! Would love to hear what everyone else thinks! Pam, looks like you had a wonderful day!! love the road!! O my!


  4. Sandy
    Jan 09, 2007 @ 17:29:15

    I like that twisty road. Glad you got your id’s, I don’t know much abou gulls and ducks. You got some good shots. Are you going to keep a photo bird list?


  5. Pam
    Jan 09, 2007 @ 18:04:24

    Mon@rch – that’s what I thought when I looked on the Cornell Ornithology website, but if anyone can provide confirmation that would be great!
    Yes, it was a wonderful time – I’m in my own little world when I’m looking for birds, trees, plants, etc. I love the road, too. This whole area up to the ridge – I should really photograph the ridge someday because it is soooo cool – used to be the lakebed of the glacial Lake Iroquois! So there is really interesting terrain here. And there’s an old growth forest here, too! Lots of stuff to do up here in case you ever want to take a trip up here! (I know, I have to make it to ASP first). Swamps, twisty roads, old growth forests, a bog, let’s see what else I can come up with.

    Sandy – I love the twisty road, too. I was driving really slow because all of the twists and hills look alike and I didn’t want to miss the pond where there is usually quite a few birds.
    For the photo bird list – are you talking about a Flickr set? I keep all of my photos there, and my bird list on


  6. Laura
    Jan 09, 2007 @ 22:54:20

    I just kind of try and pretend that gulls don’t exist. I want to tackle shorebirds first.



  7. Susan Gets Native
    Jan 09, 2007 @ 23:28:08

    LOL, Laura!
    I do the same thing with plovers.

    A juv gull gives me nightmares. Good one, Pam!


  8. Pam
    Jan 10, 2007 @ 08:17:10

    Laura – LOL! I’ll take anything right now to bring my list up. The question was between the Lesser or the Great. It looks more like the juvenile great.

    Susan – Thanks! I had no clue you ladies *ignored* certain birds! I do that with certain plants – there are ones that look so much alike – and ones that interbreed so much it’s hard to tell. I didn’t mean to give you nightmares!

    Thanks for your responses!


  9. Laura
    Jan 10, 2007 @ 22:27:18


    Here in NJ, lesser black-backed gulls are pretty rare, I think.

    I pay so little attention to gulls – especially the GBB gulls that are everywhere – my main cue to ID is size, which I can’t tell from your pic.

    I say call it what ever you need to add on your list.


  10. Pam
    Jan 10, 2007 @ 22:36:11

    LOL Laura – I need everything! Mon@rch thought it looked big, and since he’s almost positive that it’s a GBB I think I’ll go with it! I don’t think anyone is going to come after me about it!


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