Wintering on the Cape

27 02 2013

Recently I posted about the high number of Sable gulls that have been resighted in New York state this winter and last year.  It looks like Massachusetts, and Cape Cod in particular, might be a contender for the “hotspot” of Sable gull sightings…or the wintering grounds of one individual at least.  Herring Gull AFR has been spotted 3 times now in the Cape Cod area.

First spotted November 1 at Herring Cove Beach near Provincetown.

Herring Gull AFR on a beach near Provincetown, MA.  Photo from John Kricher.

Herring Gull AFR on a beach near Provincetown, MA. Photo from John Kricher.

Second sighting December 30 at the east end of the Cape Cod canal in Sandwich, MA, by local photographer Steve Arena  On this same day Steve photographed two other colour banded Herring Gulls from different studies.  One was a blue banded Herring Gull with letters “BBH” which was banded as chick last summer on a rooftop in downtown Portland, ME, in a study from the University of New England.  The other was green banded “M24” from a research program on Appledor Island also in Maine.  Steve has some great pictures of other birds on his flickr site.

Herring Gull AFR was later photographed by Steve Arena in Sandwich, MA, on December 30th.

Herring Gull AFR was later photographed by Steve Arena in Sandwich, MA, on December 30th.

And again on February 27, AFR was spotted at the east end of the Cape Cod canal on a stormy day with 30+mph east winds and driving rain.  Now a total of three sightings by three different people in three different months.  I think it’s safe to say that Cape Cod is the wintering state of choice for Herring gull AFR.

Thanks for all the reports and keep ’em coming.

Rob Ronconi

Halifax, NS