Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ivory Gull in Grand Isle, VT

Today Peter and I chased an Ivory Gull in Vermont. The rare Arctic gull is apparently only the 5th to ever be recorded in the state. When we first arrived at the lakefront where the bird had been reported, visibility was dismal, since it was snowing pretty hard. We searched along the shoreline, then decided to head back into Alburgh to grab sandwiches and wait for a lull in the snow.
Best "close-up" I managed
Ivory Gull on the lake
Our timing couldn't have been better because when we arrived back at the bridge, the snow had stopped and the bird had been spotted again. We got on it from the road, and when it was clear it wasn't going to move, we headed down onto the lake.
That's right, on foot, it was frozen solid enough for ice fishermen to drive their trucks out, so we walked right out to get a better look.We got great looks at the bird via scope, bins, and our own bare eyes, but couldn't go too much closer for fear of thin ice, so my shots aren't quite within range. Nevertheless, another amazing sighting for the wonder duo of the VLS birders :)
Birders watching the gull out on the ice.
One of the gentlemen we met while looking at this gorgeous bird mentioned a young birder from Ontario who was currently birding around Newfoundland. That sounded familiar, and when he mentioned the birder's name - Brandon Holden - I realized I had met him on Yahoo Youngbirder years back, and had checked out his awesome bird photography in the past. Here's a link to the amazing shots he's getting up there. Small world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Leigh for giving us those scope views, especially from up close on the ice! Fabulous bird and a joy to see.

Nick from Ottawa