Pink beacon on Beacon Street

11 10 2011

AAF loafing around Beacon St. dam in Glace Bay, NS. Photo courtesy of Allan and Cathy Murrant.

Flashing its pink wing bands, Herring Gull AAF is becoming a beacon for passers-by on Beacon St. in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.  Local bird enthusiasts, Allan and Cathy Murrant who run the Cape Breton Birds website, have seen AAF on October 3rd and 7th, loafing around Beacon St. Dam which seems to be a bit of a hotspot for gulls in transit.  Allan and Cathy had this to say about the pond:

Beacon St dam is a man made pond that was made for one of the coal mines.   When the mine closed they planted grass and made a little park and walking track around it.  The gulls roost and bathe and get food from people feeding the ducks.  We had 8 species of gull there in a 15 minute period one spring.  Its a real good place for ducks, geese and many rarities show up.  We found [AAF] around 3pm on Oct. 3, 2011 and because we visit the dam every day I can say that was the only day we saw it.  We get a lot of one day visits from gulls and we found a banded gull in November one year it was banded in Witless Bay NL we got photos of that and it came again the next year around the same time. 

Eight species of gulls in such a short period of time is quite impressive considering only 4 species of gulls breed in Cape Breton.  Glace Bay is out near the eastern tip of Cape Breton Island which sticks far out into the Atlantic, perhaps making it an attractive stop-over site for many migrant gulls and other species.  This and other reclaimed ponds could provide important roosting habitat for migrant waterbirds during long journeys.  Lets hope that Allan and Cathy can provide us with more sightings before the winter freeze sets in.

AAF spotted on the eastern tip of Cape Breton Island in northern Nova Scotia.




4 responses

27 10 2011
Julie-Lynn Zahavich

Hi there! My name is Julie-Lynn Zahavich. My dad is Bill Zahavich. He has been working on a ship off of Sable Island for the past 6 weeks. He had been telling me about your research via e-mail and I just happened to stumble upon your site today while perusing the internet. I’m glad to hear you’ve been getting re-siting reports. Now that I know more about your project I will keep my eyes open for any banded gulls I see. Good luck!

27 10 2011
Rob Ronconi

Hi Julie-Lynn, Thanks for your interest in the project and it’s always good to have more eyes on the lookout. I’ve had lots of re-sighting reports from the folks working on ships off of Sable…lots of these reports were from your dad! I hope to soon put a blog entry together about these reports from the offshore supply vessels. Stay tuned.

Rob Ronconi
Halifax, NS

5 02 2012
Attracted to Beacons « Sable Island Gulls

[…] seen in early October at Beacon St. Dam in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Herring Gull AAF was seen again last week on the shorelines of Beacon, New York!  (what a strange […]

12 03 2012
Frequent Flyer « Sable Island Gulls

[…] flyer” of our gull marking program.  AAF was tagged in June, spotted twice in October in northern Nova Scotia, multiple sightings along the Hudson River in New York state, and has now been seen in New […]

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