Thursday, March 3, 2011

List Purity...

Cute Husband and I go birding last Saturday in search of a Red-necked Grebe and a Black-headed Gull.    Two nice birds for our year list and a great way to spend some time together since Warren has been so busy writing, writing, reporting, writing, reporting. 

Plus, I love winter duck and gull searching, as it usually does not call for an early Saturday morning wake-up. 

We go to the non-red-necky area where the Red-necked Grebe had been spotted. We searched and searched through Ring-billed gulls and a few lingering Lesser Scaup without any luck.  I spent some time trying to turn an American Crow into a Raven and then we drove to the other side of the river to see if the Grebe might be paddling about over there.

Nope. 

But, Cute Husband spies an unusual partially hooded gull.  It was pretty far out and we couldn't make out the color of the bill.  Black-headed Gull made some sense, but he seemed to have too much white on his forehead to match the plate in our field guides.

We moved on, as after all, we were next going to a spot where a Black-headed Gull had been seen a few hours before.

Nope.

And, not for lack of trying.    Dipping twice made for a somewhat sad birding adventure.  

By the time we got home, someone had posted a sighting of a Black-headed Gull at the Grebe site!

Hmmm... the description sounds exactly like the unusual partially hooded gull Cute Husband found...

The poster of the sighting is a really good birder and was only able to solidify the ID after the bird flew.

So, I've been nagging Cute Husband about counting it as a needed year and Maryland bird.  My argument is that he would have counted it if we had been there when the bird was ID'd by someone else.  He found the bird and recognized it for its different-ness.  He called it a Black-headed Gull and I was the one that wasn't convinced. 

Count it- darn it!

Maybe.  But, not until he checks it out again tomorrow morning....

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