12 January 08

A BIGBY Gull Jaunt

With all the reports of multiple gull species at the Yolo County Landfill/Oxidation Ponds, we rode our bikes up there to try and see some for our Big Green Birding Year (BIGBY). We ran into Marcel and friends and he was merciful enough to point out the distinctions between the various species and their various states of plumage, always confusing. A better-than-hoped-for gull tally: Bonaparte’s, ring-billed, California, herring, Thayer’s, glaucous-winged, glaucous (gorgeous white adult). We missed the lone Western but may go back for it tomorrow. (We also missed the ferruginous and rough-legged hawks, as well as the prairie falcon, nearby, which is more of an incentive to go back.)

While we were looking for the Western we ran into Roger who was out in his new Ford Escape Hybrid, looking for the same birds we were. He got so inspired he drove home and came back on his bike. Go Roger! Be careful! This is a cult!

Today’s bird list from our bikes (singles; the tandem’s having shifting problems):

Greater white-fronted goose
Snow goose
Ross’s goose
Canada goose
Cackling goose
Tundra swan
Wood duck
American wigeon
Cinammon teal
Norther shoveler
Green-winged teal
Ring-necked duck
Lesser scaup
Common goldeneye
Common merganser
Ruddy duck
Ring-necked pheasant
Pied-billed grebe
Eared grebe
American white pelican
Double-crested cormorant
Great blue heron
Great egret
Snowy egret
Black-crowned night-heron
Turkey vulture
White-tailed kite (doing talon-grabbing display)
Northern harrier
Cooper’s hawk
Red-shouldered hawk
American kestrel
American coot
Sandhill crane
Black-necked stilt
Greater yellowlegs
Long-billed curlew
Least sandpiper
Ring-billed gull
California gull
Herring gull
Thayer’s gull
Glaucous-winged gull
Glaucous gull
Rock pigeon
Mourning dove
Burrowing owl
White-throated swift
Anna’s hummingbird
Belted kingfisher
Nuttall’s woodpecker
Northern flicker
Black phoebe
Say’s phoebe
Western scrub-jay
Yellow-billed magpie
American crow
Common raven
Marsh wren
American robin
Northern mockingbird
European starling
American pipit
Cedar waxwing
Yellow-rumped warbler
Savannah sparrow
White-crowned sparrow
Red-winged blackbird
Brewer’s blackbird
House finch
American goldfinch
House sparrow

Just to note: some people are doing a BIGBY in currently frozen temperatures, just on foot, and they are happy to find twelve species. It’s humbling to be able to go out mid-January on our bikes in light jackets and get a list like this, and there is NO EXCUSE not to when we live somewhere with so benign a climate….

Posted by at 07:50 PM in Big Green Birding Year (BIGBY) | Link |
  1. VERY impressive day list!
    Gull list from the east coast includes: Herring, Greater Black-backed, Ring-billed, Iceland, Glaucous, Slaty-backed (missed the Bonapartes and Lesser Black-backed), 1W Thayer’s the next day!
    Guess these gulls can be fun, as long as one has an interpreter! Caio, LL

    tattler    14. January 2008, 06:28    Link
  2. Tattler: there’s nothing for it, we’re going to have to get the new gull book and study it at bedtime or on rainy days. Do you have it?

    Pica    14. January 2008, 07:21    Link
  3. I want to come next time!

    Babz    14. January 2008, 11:15    Link
  4. Tattler: we bought the book. GULLP.

    Babz: sure. All bets are off, though, for this weekend. An emperor goose was spotted flying over the Yolo Bypass yesterday with a flock of snow geese. Last time one was seen in Yolo County? 1906.

    We may be doing a lot of goosewatching on Saturday. But our original plan was to go out to Lake Solano. Interested in either?

    Pica    14. January 2008, 13:18    Link
  5. That’s a great list!

    Roger B.    15. January 2008, 00:28    Link
  6. I included a shot of your birdbybird blog and talked up BIGBY in my presentation about “Finding Nature on the Web” for my local Audubon chapter on Tuesday night. I think I forgot to mention that were President of the Yolo chapter, though. Damn.

    Dave    18. January 2008, 11:54    Link

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