29 January 2015

American Herrings: Florida

I never pass up the chance to watch Herrings, especially when I find myself away from Lake Michigan. While in east-central Florida last week, I photographed a mixed array of wingtip patterns on adults - some that resemble what I think of as "Great Lakes Herrings" and others with less pigmentation to the wingtips (larger birds that I associate with having a Northern or Northeastern place of origin).

The first two individuals seen below were the most extreme in terms of limited pigmentation in the wingtips, and look very much like so-called Newfoundland Herrings. 

Notice on this bird the large apicals on the outer primaries and the large amount of white on p6 and p9.
Brevard County, FL. 24 Jan 2015. PHOTO 1 of 2.
I knew I'd be impressed when this bird opened its wings: complete white tip to p10 and no subterminal band or marks of any sort on p5. Apparently, the lack of any markings on p5 is not too uncommon in St. John's (Mactavish, pers. comm.). Mactavish & Jonsson include a similar bird in Photo 5 in their article on Niagara Falls versus Newfoundland Herrings (Birders Journal, V10 N2).

Same individual above. PHOTO 2 of 2.
This one shows less black on the bill, but similar-sized apicals:

Brevard County, FL. 24 Jan 2015. PHOTO 1 of 2.
 P10 shows light black to the edges of both webs and p5 a very faint bar:

Brevard County, FL. 24 Jan 2015. PHOTO 2 of 2.
Now for beach birds - all photographed at Daytona Beach Shores in Volusia County.

Amber-colored iris on a seemingly perfect adult. Photo 1 of 2.

Small spot on outer edge of p4. Photo 2 of 2.

Photo 1 of 2.

Small streaks on greater primary coverts, small spots on p4s and single mirror. Black on outer web of p8 somewhat extensive. Photo 2 of 2.

Big bull head and strong bill with moderate head streaking. Photo 1 of 2. 

A single large mirror on p10 showing a bit more black on the outer primaries. Photo 2 of 2.

A smaller bird that gave a Thayer's imperssion from a distance. Photo 1 of 2.

Medim sized mirror on p10. Extensive black on entire p9 and much on outer web of p8. Broken band on p5. Photo 2 of 2.

Extensive head streaking and black subterminal ring on bill. Very small apicals and pinkish bill suggest sub-adult (see next photo). Photo 1 of 2.

This was predicted to be a sub-adult in the field before the open wing was seen. Black markings on tail and primary coverts/alula. Black on outer webs of p4. Photo 2 of 2.

A beautiful, medium-sized, adult with much white on the underside of the far wing. 

Thayeri pattern to p9, no subterminal marks on p5. Note p4 and p2 broken. Photo 2 of 2.

Another adult but showing pink tones on most of the bill. Photo 1 of 2. 

Thin broken subterminal band on p10, assymteric mirror size on p9s and broken subterminal bands on p5. Photo 2 of 2. 

Obvious sub-adult per the large tertial spot. But not the strong, bright yellow bill. Photo 1 of 2. 

Tertial spot covered by scapulars in flight. Relatively extensive black on wingtip can be age-related. Interestingly, the black band on p5 is a faint color and not as black as p9-p10. Photo 2 of 2. 

Another large bird with relatively large white apicals. Photo 1 of 2.

Mirror only on p10. Black on p8 reaches close to primary coverts. Photo 2 of 2.