Thursday, April 12, 2007

Forster's Terns, Ottawa Co

Right now there are large numbers of Bonaparte's Gulls in Ottawa County, northwest Ohio, over the agricultural fields as well as around bodies of water. Today (Thursday April 12) I stopped to look at about 100 Bonaparte's Gulls on the south edge of Oak Harbor, where Highway 19 crosses the Portage River, and saw two Forster's Terns foraging in the same area. These were the first I've seen locally this spring (although Sheryl Young had a probable Forster's over by East Harbor State Park, a few miles east of here, a couple of days ago). According to Birds of the Toledo Area by Matt Anderson et al., April 12 is the local early record for Forster's Tern, so these birds were seemingly right on time as arrivals. The two that I saw were full adults -- with complete black caps and uniformly silvery upper surface of the primaries -- which is what I would expect the first arrivals to be, based on experience elsewhere.

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