Sunday, March 16, 2014

Laughing Gull

Our plan after Dallas, where we visited family, was to spend a day and a half in the Rockport, Texas. But our plan was subverted by a malfunctioning laptop, which we tried to fix at an Apple Store in Austin. The repair was not successful (and is still unresolved). We arrived in Rockport late in the afternoon of 18 February.

Rockport is one of our favorite birding spots, not the least reason being the Laughing Gulls that breed within easy walking distance of the town. I posted photos of this colony taken during our last visit to Rockport in 2012. Various studies, both behavioral and genetic, conclude that Laughing Gulls are closely related to Franklin’s Gulls. On the other hand, the gull genus, Larus, has been found to be an unnatural grouping. Laughing Gulls have been moved to a different genus, Leucophaeus.

With our plans changed and fog predicted, we decided to spend the next morning birding along the Rockport beach and perhaps attempting a quick trip up to Aransas the next afternoon. It would be a shame to miss seeing Whooping Cranes, but not, after all, the end of the world.

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