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Old Sep 9, 2017, 4:46 PM   #1
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Default A VERY rare visitor...

There's been a swallow-tailed gull hanging out in this area for about a week, which has birders from all over the country all a-twitter. People have been coming to see it from as far away as Illinois and Florida. The reason? This gull is native to the Galapagos Islands, and has only seen twice before in North America! The previous two sightings were in California 20 years ago or more, and one's never been seen this far north, so this was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. After just missing it for several days, I finally caught up with it last week... it was roosting among some other gulls along the side of a pier, so the background is less than ideal, but it was only about 25 yards away, so I was able to get a good look at it. Wasn't doing much - just dozing and occasionally moving around - but I was able to get some decent shots to commemorate this extremely rare visit. Here's one of the better images...

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Old Sep 9, 2017, 8:18 PM   #2
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Thanks Rocky for sharing with us

I am often amazed at the huge distances these sometimes small birds manage to travel, sometimes half-way around the globe then back again. Talk about "living it free" [of politics & wars anyway]

Phil
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Old Sep 10, 2017, 4:32 AM   #3
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Now THERE"S a bucket list item that doesn't get checked often. You have gotten some rare and unusual shots through the years. I will never forget the bubble on the grass stem you shot some years ago. Good shot of the Swallow-tailed Gull. That bird is lost, I am afraid!
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Old Sep 17, 2017, 5:56 AM   #4
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Great capture
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Old Sep 17, 2017, 6:48 AM   #5
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Interesting bird Rocky, not one I'd heard of before. Google tells me it is the only fully nocturnal gull. Nice catch, thanks for sharing.

Mike
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Old Sep 26, 2017, 12:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzie_Traveller View Post
Thanks Rocky for sharing with us
I am often amazed at the huge distances these sometimes small birds manage to travel, sometimes half-way around the globe then back again. Talk about "living it free" [of politics & wars anyway]
Phil
Thanks, Phil! Yes, they're pretty amazing creatures when you think about it!

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Originally Posted by Hawgwild View Post
Now THERE"S a bucket list item that doesn't get checked often. You have gotten some rare and unusual shots through the years. I will never forget the bubble on the grass stem you shot some years ago. Good shot of the Swallow-tailed Gull. That bird is lost, I am afraid!
I fear you may be right, Robert... it's disappeared again, hasn't been seen for about a week now. Hopefully it found its way back to open ocean and is headed south for warmer climes!
Nice of you to remember the bubble... POTY 2006 as I recall. I still have a print of that shot somewhere!

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Great capture
Thanks, NHL!

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Originally Posted by blkms View Post
Interesting bird Rocky, not one I'd heard of before. Google tells me it is the only fully nocturnal gull. Nice catch, thanks for sharing.
Mike
Thanks, Mike. Yup, only gull that feeds only at night. Pretty interesting bird, really... a real treat to see it!
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