Hi everybody,

Regarding the equipment used to take the photos of the ? Kelp Gull, Phil uses
a Sony Mavica Digital.  He did mention in his email to me and which I posted
earlier to the List, that he saw the gull on two occasions.  I'm wondering if
the photos were taken all once, or some on one occasion and some on the other. I went to the location where the bird was originally seen in
March, namely Blind Pass at Captiva, and although, "hope is a feathered thing
with wings", there was no candidate for the gull present at the island.  I
really had to know and I'm glad I went.  (Traffic wasn't bad either :))  I
walked the beach across the street and no possible candidate showed itself
there.  As Noel said, the gull could be back this fall.

I am not a gull specialist and although Rick Heil, a birder in Massachusetts,
who aided Phil in the id has a fine reputation, I hope Wayne Peterson of MA
Audubon and David Sibley who now lives in Massachusetts both get a chance to
see the photos.  I would be really interested in what they would have to say
about the id.  I wish there were a photo of a wing spread.  When you go out
there and see the distance from the bridge to the island, you realize what a
really good job Phil did in photographing the bird.

Not much going on at Ding Darling.  Water levels are the highest I've ever
seen them.  Silvery fish were bounding out of the water in great backward
leaps.  Spent some time watching  and listening to 3 vocalizing Osprey
fishing, and saw them dive, but missed the actual successful snatch of a fish
one of them managed.  The dramatic dives into the water by the Osprey were a
first for me.

Prairie Warblers were singing in the mangroves and I saw a couple of them.
Two White Pelicans separately sailed the rippled waters.  I flushed a
WaterThrush.  Birds were scarce and water was everywhere.

Golden Orb Spiders and their webs were also everywhere and each she had a he
waiting to mate.  At one web, I spent twenty minutes or so, while she
positioned herself head down for the act of consummation, but gave up
watching after he (one sixth her size) seemed hopelessly unready.  At one
non-golden web, small pansy like flower heads were emeshed-a dream (and
dreamy) web.

For dessert, I went to Bailey's Plaza and ordered a Gray Kingbird.  I got
two, a mama and a papa taking turns feeding unseen young in a seen nest.

Drove home to a threatening and cloud layered sky.

Take care,
Marie Gonsalo
Ft. Myers

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