Three weeks ago we had a somewhat chilly picnic here on the historic banks of the Delaware at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. There were a few gulls pottering about in the sunshine.
|Seeds/Fruits - aka syncarps of achenes|
The ground was sprinkled with these seed heads, which I thought might be from the stately Maple Leaf Sycamore/London Plane trees that graced the path along the river bank. A quick Google search seems to confirm that my hunch was correct. You can see the beautiful bark markings on these trees on my previous post on Liberty Island.
We loved this ship!
The gulls were doubtless on the look-out for scraps; but not knowing the local protocol, we resisted any temptation to 'feed the birds'.
I now know, thanks to Jeremy of Jeremy Inglis Photography, who left a comment on my Liberty Island page, that this is a Ring-billed Gull. Incidentally, researchers at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) have been undertaking a study on banded ('ringed') Ring-billed Gulls, which you can read about here. I think they are still accepting sightings [Postscript: I am posting this in from the comments, so please send your sightings off to the site given here: Martin PM said... 'Sightings are very valuable for us! Thank you for sharing information about our marking program.' Biologist MSc., Research Assistant, Laboratoire de Jean-François Giroux, Université du Québec à Montréal, http://gull.uqam.ca ].
Details of GullFest 2012 can be found here.
This Canada Goose drew up alongside the landing stage. Thanks to John of a DC Birding Blog, I now know the difference between a Canada Goose and a Cackling Goose, the one with the (partial) white collar in John's photo here.
My thanks to Redgannet for pointing out that the Delaware is tidal at this point.