On January 31st Mark Mizak, Josh Lefever, and I left on a 5 day birding trip for New Years. Our first target of the trip was to the Black-headed Gull at Hunt Valley Town Center near Baltimore, Maryland. This is the third year in a row that an adult Black-headed Gull has over-wintered with Ring-billed Gulls in this parking lot. We arrived at the shopping center around 7:00am, but it was still a bit dark to see any birds around the area so we grabbed a quick breakfast and then sat in the parking lot, near an old Best Buy, waiting for the gull. After a while, we started to see Ring-billed and a few Herring Gulls around the area as well as an adult Red-shouldered Hawk.
As the Ring-billed Gulls began to gather on the ground in the parking lot, we spotted the Black-headed Gull fly in and join them. We had really great looks at the bird, from the comfort of my warm car! It was also a lifer for Mark! Really poor, early-morning lighting made it tough to get bright, sharp photos but I tried my best and came up with the following portraits of the gull. Check back for more posts about our New Years birding trip in the next few days!