Saturday, December 5, 2015

Not That Type of Kitty


    Yes, birders, I'm talking about that type of kitty, the kittiwake, which is a species of gull that got its name from the sound it makes. Believe it or not, there are only two species of kittiwakes: Red-legged and Black-legged. The latter was just recently found on November 30th at Pickwick Landing State Park in Savannah, TN. Black-legged Kittiwake was one of two birds on a long list of Hatteras' winter pelagic specialties that I did not get this February, so it seemed that with all the positive reports as of late, it was worth a shot. 
    Five of the seven Walkers decided to come along for the ride (ok, maybe the littlest two were forced against their will). It was a three-hour drive, and we were relieved when we finally arrived. Several other birders were already there, and fortunately they said they had seen the bird. However, it took us about an hour to re-find it. Finally, we spotted it sitting on the distant railing just below the dam.  I was thrilled - it was my 340th lifer and I absolutely love gulls - and I tried to get the best photo possible, but all I could manage was a crumby digiscope. Still, now I have a picture to look back upon and say, "Oh, I remember this!"

That gray and white blob is a Black-legged Kittiwake, my 340th lifebird.

    Unless I have yet another impromptu outing, my next birding adventure will be on December 19th, when I'll be doing a Christmas Bird Count in Northwest Tennessee. Be on the lookout for a new post shortly thereafter!