Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Visitors from the Northeast

Today my dad and I were looking for rare gulls at a local lake that can be good for this. We definetly found what we were looking for. As we searched for any rare gulls out sitting in the water, a gull with a brown/white wash over its whole body... white wing tips... pink feet and bill with a black tip... Smaller than a Herring Gull but a tiny bit larger than a Ring-billed... It was an Iceland Gull! Score! A great bird I have only seen once this December, in this great year for Iceland Gulls in Ft. Collins and Loveland. After examining the bird and other ducks on the lake (the best were 1 N. Pintail and about 12 C. Goldeneyes) we moved on to the East end of the lake where we saw a flock of about 60-70 Ring-billed Gulls and right smack dab in the middle of the flock was... with out the scope it looked like... a Crow? We pulled the scope out of the back of our black Toyota. As the scope moved onto the dark bird and my cold dry hands tightened the scope I realized what it was... "wow", I gasped as the dark shape formed into the huge midnight black back of a Greater Black-backed Gull, a life bird for me. "Wow" was all I could say as the largest gull in the world preened itself on the cold ice, acting like nothing was wrong just sitting on another cold frozen lake. This will definatly be one of the most memorable birds for my new year to come. On the first day of Febuary my list is at 90 birds. To me I'm amazed that I could get that in one month. My hitlist birds are now Rough-legged, Northern Gos, and Ferruginous Hawks and a Laplands Longspur, maybe a trip to the prairie in the future.
Good luck birding and finding truly memorable birds like me today.

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