A few Wednesdays ago (Aug 26), I took the long walking way to the grocery store. The air was smoky from forest fires raging in Washington state, but it was better than the day before. I made a westerly loop to the Bow River Pathway, just west of the Crowchild Trail bridge. I photographed many birds – swallows, ducks, hawks, warblers, etc. I even snapped a few mediocre shots of some flying gulls, which I assumed were Ring-billed gulls, since they were the only gulls I’d seen in Calgary until then. But when I looked at the fuzzy gulls on my computer screen, they were clearly not Ring-billed gulls. Exciting!
Saturday (Aug 29), the smoky skies cleared. So I jet-biked to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary to catch some bird action. On my ride back, I stopped at a few places along the Bow River (near Pearce Estate Park) to look for gulls with black eye patches. I found a few non-breeding adult Franklin’s gulls mingling with Ring-billed gulls.
At the Harvie Passage, where the Double Crested Cormorants like to hang out, I saw some juvenile Franklin’s gulls.
A third gull species made a fuzzy appearance in a few of my far-away cormorant photographs. On Sunday, I journeyed to a few popular gull spots on the Bow River to figure out who they were.