Black Guillemot Aurora, NY 30Oct04 vc038a.jpg (63112 bytes)Black Guillemot, Cepphus grylle, Cayuga Lake, Aurora, Cayuga Co., NY, 30 October 2004.

All pictures were taken by my son Jay and me and are Kevin J. McGowan.  Stills were taken with an Olympus D-40 digital camera through a Swarovski ATS-80 spotting scope.  The video captures were taken with a Sony TRV830 video camera through a Swarovski HD-80.


Found at Myers Point, Tompkins Co. on 23 October 2004 by Paul Hurtado, the winter plumaged Black Guillemot was a nearly unbelievable addition to the Cayuga Lake Basin checklist.  It was not found again the first weekend after the first sighting, but was relocated at Aurora, tentatively by Carol Schmitt on Wednesday, 27 October, and then definitively by Mike Harvey and Tim Lenz on 30 October.  A number of people were able to see it on 30 October.

The bird showed dark in the white wing patches, and as can be seen by some of the video captures, the dark consisted of two black lines, thickest on the ventral side.  We did not see the bird flap its wings, but at least three other observers commented on the white-and-black underside of the wings that would confirm Black Guillemot and rule out Pigeon Guillemot.

 

Black-Guillemot-078aw.jpg (43305 bytes)  Black-Guillemot-485aw.jpg (10255 bytes)

Black-Guillemot-459aw.jpg (8861 bytes)   Black-Guillemot-451aw.jpg (9438 bytes)

Black-Guillemot-447aw.jpg (13975 bytes)  Black-Guillemot-445aw.jpg (10412 bytes)  

Black-Guillemot-438aw.jpg (9378 bytes)  Black-Guillemot-443aw.jpg (11984 bytes)  

Black-Guillemot-439aw.jpg (10945 bytes)  Black-Guillemot-440aw.jpg (8433 bytes)

Black Guillemot Aurora, NY 30Oct04 432a.jpg (51597 bytes)  Black-Guillemot-431aw.jpg (15004 bytes)  

Black-Guillemot-059aw.jpg (17064 bytes)  Black-Guillemot-430aw.jpg (8594 bytes)  

Black-Guillemot-047aw.jpg (18282 bytes)  Black-Guillemot-048aw.jpg (14146 bytes)

    Black-Guillemot-033aw.jpg (12830 bytes)  Black-Guillemot-027aw.jpg (21403 bytes)

 Black-Guillemot-028aw.jpg (21288 bytes)  Black-Guillemot-080aw.jpg (19003 bytes)  

Black-Guillemot-013aw.jpg (19360 bytes)  Black-Guillemot-043aw.jpg (12370 bytes)

Not very noticeable during the observations, but quite apparent from the photographs was the fact that the bird held its wingtips up above the back, forming two small triangular sails.  The last photo of the bird facing away and looking down into the water shows this character very well.


Return to the Bad Photos page.

Return to Kevin McGowan's home page.

Go to the Crow Page.


Revised: April 06, 2005.