By this point the circling gull flocks were fairly impressive so I drove to a spot where I could scan through them when they were in the water. Mostly Ring-billed Gulls of course but a nice smattering of Herrings, mostly immatures, here and there. As I reached the far end of the flock I noticed some gulls that were significantly darker. Zooming in I counted 5 Great Black-backed Gulls and 8 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The count of LBBG’s is easily the highest I have seen at Ontelaunee and is a real testament to the rapid range expansion that the species is exhibiting in the Eastern US.
Today was a good day for gulls at Ontelaunee. When I arrived there were several hundred circling around in the air, giving a shimmering effect when they banked and caught the sunlight just right. They almost gave the impression of snow. While they were getting their act together and collecting to a more impressive flock of 1600 or so, I scanned the flocks of geese and ducks. Only one each of Tundra Swan and Snow Goose but in all the groups of Canada Geese I did find one smaller goose which was potentially a Cackling Goose. Recently split from the Canada Goose, Cackling Geese are significantly smaller and have short stubby bill. It can be quite a recreational activity combing through big flocks of Canada Geese in hopes of seeing one of these smaller, more rare geese.