Monday, November 2, 2009

A little valley birding

It has been awhile since I have gone birding, just plain birding, and Sunday I got to do just that.

Dan Casey and I met at the county landfill (gull haven) to see what was up. Now is about the start of the "gull season" when more and more odd gulls show up at our county landfill. Today there where maybe 1,000 birds!!! The first bird that wasn't of the very common usual 3 species (ring-billed, Herring, California) was a juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL. This was a classic and beautiful first-year bird.

All photos are Dan Casey's. I try not to take credit for others' work.

For some odd reason, it is always hideously cold at the dump, maybe 10 to 20 degrees colder then the rest of the valley depending on the windchill. We looked over the rest of the gulls, and the only other odd balls, were a few juvenile/first-year THAYER'S GULLS. These are more common then the Glaucous but still a very uncommon bird for the entire state.

After The gulls, I wandered down the "west valley" of the Flathead Valley and saw a few open country, winter birds such as a few ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, and a NORTHERN SHRIKE - my favorite of the two NA shrikes. The larger pond along Church Road was FULL of birds!! There must have been 300-500 MALLARDS, 50 NORTHERN PINTAIL, 2 BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 2 NORTHERN SHOVELER, and 1 GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Also, there was 2 small flocks of TUNDRA SWANS.

I was then going to check Foy Lake for some kind of seaduck, as it is one of the most reliable spots in the county for LTDuck or scoters, but Dan Casey was just there after we checked the dump, and said there was almost no action. I will check it next week.

Great to be birding again!!!!


1 comment:

  1. That "Herring" type gull that has it's head up has a dark eye..........