Orange County Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3/10/15

~Lesser Black-backed Gull, Newburgh Waterfront, 3/10/15.~

As my work day was coming to an end, I received two separate reports for Red-breasted Mergansers on the Hudson near Newburgh, NY. One was a text from Rob Stone, the second a call from Bruce Nott. I headed in that direction in hopes of getting a RBME for Orange County for the year. From Plum Point Park I had some distant waterfowl where the water was open, but the heat waves were distorting the image in my scope way too much to confidently ID the birds. From what I could tell, they were likely Common Mergansers.

When I got back in my car, I had a missed call on my phone (which I had forgotten there). It was from Bruce; I called him back and he had what he believed to be a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL – seen from the old Torches parking lot. I hustled over, but I was too late. The bird had ridden the ice floes up river and out of scope range. I was really bummed! Then, some folks started to feed the ducks and gulls from the parking lot and a good number of the gulls were up in the air. Many relocated on the ice floes right in front of us, and fortunately, one of them was the Lesser Black-backed Gull. I relocated the bird and had Bruce take a look – we both liked it for a LBBG. The bird was close enough for some decent photos, so I sent it out – thank you to John Haas, Rob Stone, and Curt McDermott who all responded that they agreed with LBBG. Huge thanks to Bruce Nott – this is life bird #318 for me, very exciting! Oh, and I never did get a Red-breasted Merganser tonight…

~One more look at the LBBG, seen from Torches at the Newburgh Waterfront, 3/10/15.~

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