Yesterday morning I went out to Jetty Park near Port Canaveral. I went there to see gulls. I wanted to see black-backed gulls, but I was also hoping to get better at identifying immature gulls. I’m getting pretty good at identifying adult gulls, but immatures still give me some trouble at times. I didn’t realize that, since I’m not a Brevard County resident, I would be charged $10 to enter the park. But I got over that irritation when I got out of the car and right off the bat found one adult Great Black-backed Gull, and then five minutes later, an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull. Then I saw three Bonaparte’s Gulls floating in the water. As I walked over to the beach, I found younger gulls to test my ID skills. The one below is a Lesser Black-backed Gull.
But the gull below gave me some trouble.It was a large gull, and I’m thinking it’s a first year Great Black-backed Gull, given its large size, wing pattern, the color of the legs, and that enormous black bill.The fish must have either escaped a fisherman’s hook or an Osprey’s talons, and this gull was the beneficiary. It was very timid about it, tough. When people walked by, it would walk away from the fish, I had to keep my distance in order to let it feel comfortable enough to go to work on the fish..
Other highlights were many Brown Pelicans, a couple Reddish Egrets, one Common Loon, many Royal Terns, and one Sandwich Tern.