[Tweeters] Black-Tailed Gull Close-up
thefedderns at gmail.com
Wed Oct 21 23:10:10 PDT 2009
I decided to drive past the view points from which the BLACK-TAILED GULL has
been seen on my way back from an errand in Tacoma at about 2:00 pm this
afternoon 10/21. Jon Jensen and a couple of other birders informed me that
the bird indeed was out on the logs and that Shep Thorp was just returning
with his boat after taking some birders out there. He offered to take us out
too, which we gladly accepted. Jon, Art ( forget your last name-sorry!) and
I, met Shep at Charlie's Marina and he took us back to the logs. There among
MEW -, CALIFORNIA -, GLAUCOUS-WINGED - and a couple of BONAPARTE'S - and
WESTERN GULLS, sat the BLACK-TAILED GULL resting!! What a great bird! We had
fantastic close-up views as we slowly drifted past the gulls, first from the
back of the log boom and then from the front with the sun in our back. Shep
had slipped his boat skillfully over a chain connecting the logs, by turning
of the engine and lifting it up.
We had good looks at all field marks; long bill with black ring and red tip,
light eye, white forehead, dark crescent shaped nape, dark gray mantle and
finally as it flew, the black-tail band with white tip. We also saw the
yellow legs as it landed a little further down the logs. It definitely has
shorter legs then the other gulls, also its head seems to be bigger in
comparison. The birds did not seem to be too disturbed by our presence, but
we decided to ease away so that other birders can enjoy this rarity. We also
had a fly-over BALD EAGLE and a good comparison of a PELAGIC - and BRANDT'S
CORMORANT sitting next to each other on a rusty drum. Several BLACK
TURNSTONES were very close to the boat feeding on the logs among the gulls
and a lone LEAST SANDPIPER flew over the boat and landed on a log at the
marina, allowing us close looks
Thank you again for taking us out to see the bird, Shep! This was a definite
highlight of my many years birding!
Meanwhile in Twin Lakes this morning, I had three female BUFFLEHEADS , the
first of the fall/winter season here. Also head two male EURASIAN WIGEONS
among the hundreds of AMERICAN WIGEONS on Lake Jeane this evening.
Twin Lakes/Federal Way, WA.
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