A (mostly) friendly competition between 2 avid birdwatchers that are also friends/co-workers. Who can observe more bird species in Idaho in 2009? Will they still be friends at year's end? ;-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

MORE gulls!

It's spring break for BSU this week, so you all know what that means.....

That's right! It was time for Heidi and Jay to head to the dump! :)

(what...that's not what you were thinking?)

I was already questioning my own sanity when I woke up this morning...but my doubts were reinforced when, on his way to work, my dad tactfully asked "um...didn't you already see all the gull species this weekend?" (...oh wait...does my family read this? heehee :) Hi daddy!)

ahhh, the dump! (is that Heidi driving that thing? ;-)

Anyway, this time we decided to try the Hidden Hollow landfill in Boise to see what it would turn up.
We got there around 9 this morning, and there were tons of gulls! There were mostly California's (~1600), but also plenty of Ring-billed's(~500). Interestingly, there were very few Herring gulls compared to Pickles Butte: less than 5 individuals, versus around 30 at pickles.

Within a minute of arriving, we spotted one of the cool gull species: Our friend, the Lesser Black-backed gull! He was out in a large group of gulls hanging out around some puddles. (wow, much easier to find than last time!)
This bird was a 3rd winter, so we aren't sure whether this is the same guy we saw on Saturday or not. But here's some of the pics we got today...what'cha think? is it the same dude?

The Lesser Black-backed gull! is he the same one we photographed on Saturday?

A new sub species? the LLLBBG (long-legged lesser black-backed gull)

Seeing what could possibly be the same LBB gull made us wonder how many of the birds from the Boise dump also travel over to Pickles butte. And if that's the case, it also made us wonder more about why there would be more Herrings at Pickles. hmmm...intriguing, eh?
so, only 4 gull species, including just one crazy migrant (gee, are we spoiled or what?) a pretty darn good trip to the dump!

We stayed at the landfill till around 11 (please note that that was only two hours!!), and then headed to a nearby park. Earlier in the year one of our birder friends, Danette, had reported a Eurasian Wigeon in the ponds there, and Jay and I had looked without success for this bird in February. When we pulled up today, we saw plenty of wigeons, and after a few minutes of scanning we spotted him! He was on the banks of the pond, where it begins to narrow into a sort of canal. He definitely stood out among all the green heads and pinkish sides around him! what a sweet bird! Thanks Danette! :)
and he was a year bird to boot!

The Eurasian Wigeon with his American buddies

Well, that's all for now! stay tuned, as Jay and Heidi are (hopefully!) soon headed off to parts unknown (aka Island Park) on what is sure to be a great adventure!



  1. aaaaaaaaaarrrrgh I am SO jealous of your crazy water-y birds.

  2. Hey, I told you I saw a black winged gull by Capital High School and you laughed at me! So technically I saw it before you did. OK, so I didn't know what I was looking at but I do know the difference between gray and black.
    Aren't you proud of me? I didn't call it a s**gull...that would be bad, very bad.

  3. Go Mominator! ... Can you find us a Slaty-backed or Western Gull next? Please? :-)