[Tweeters] Rare Gulls - Tri-Cities Area

Brad Waggoner wagtail at sounddsl.com
Tue Jan 22 06:47:13 PST 2008


Needless to say I had an eventful couple of days in the Tri-Cities area.
As reported by Nancy and Michael, the Ivory Gull was not re-located
yesterday. I concentrated my efforts in areas just to the north of
Richland. I did find a few gull flocks including one containing "the"
Lesser Black-backed Gull, but unfortunately that ghostly-white gull
didn't show for me on Monday. Here are a few hopefully helpful tidbits:

IVORY GULL - "Unmistakable" is a word often used to describe this gull
and it is appropriate. However, note that it is an immature (1st-cycle)
and not an adult bird as the November bird in Abbotsford B.C.. It has a
smudgy, dark face (reminds me of a toddler eating chocolate pudding) and
black primary tips. My experience would also echo some comments by Wayne
Weber - it won't necessarily be hanging-out with flocks of other gulls.
On Sunday, it flew in and out without being joined by other gulls. It
also seemed "unsociable" during the short time it was on the ice near
other gulls. I do hope it is relocated and photographed. I did get some
identifiable video footage through a temporarily-malfunctioning video
camera. It worked just fine on Monday! I think one of the Delaware laws
of birding applies here.

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (LBBG) - The full adult LBBG that I observed
was with a flock of gulls a few miles north of Leslie Groves Park just
north of Richland. It matched the terrific pictures of the LBBG taken by
Keith Brady near Bateman Island (3-4P.M.). I observed the LBBG between
11 and noon. Thus, it moves around, but the Yakima delta in the late
afternoon seems to be a good bet even though it didn't work for me on

I did also have a mammal highlight. Early yesterday morning in Columbia
Park I watched a Bobcat stroll up a dry creek bed with a male
Ring-necked Duck in its mouth. The Bobcat was the highlight not the poor
Ring-necked Duck.

Thanks to Bill and Nancy for their wonderful "east-side" hospitality to
this "west-sider". Nancy, the glove-warmers were quite helpful yesterday!

Cheers and good birding,
Brad Waggoner
Bainbridge Island, Washington
mailto:wagtail at sounddsl.com

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