Photo Study: Black-headed Gull in Cape May, NJ

Alex LamoreauxBird Finding Tips, Bird Sightings, Birding, birds in flight, Chase, Missed Birds, Photography, RaritiesLeave a Comment

One of my target birds for our trip down to Cape May, NJ this past weekend was an adult Black-headed Gull that has been seen off-and-on for the past month and a half along the bayshore. My friends and I tried for this bird back in January and couldn’t find it and so decided to give it another chance yesterday. We started on Shore Drive near the ferry terminal and worked our way north, carefully scanning the beach for a group of gulls, which we hoped would include the Black-headed. We were not at all optimistic about finding the gull, and I even considered forgetting about it and moving on to our next location. Shore Drive dead ends at its northern tip, and there you can park (and if the tides are right) there is a fairly large sandflat along the beach. Around 12:35pm yesterday we parked at the northern tip of Shore Drive and the four of us jumped out of the car and scanned the scattered gulls on the sandflat. I started with the furthest gulls, but then heard my friends saying “Wait, is that it or is that a Bonaparte’s…..I think that’s it…”. I asked where they were looking, and they pointed right down in front of us, and sure enough standing only 100 ft away was the beautiful adult Black-headed Gull, foraging on the beach alongside Ring-billed Gulls, Herring Gulls, and Sanderlings! I quickly ran back to the car for my camera and then crept down to the beach to try and get some photos of the gull.

Black-headed Gull - adult (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Black-headed Gull - adult (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Black-headed Gull - adult (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Black-headed Gull - adult (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Black-headed Gull - adult (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)