[Ontbirds]THAYER'S and LESSER BLACK-BACKED at London landfill

simo turland entreitei at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 27 17:57:30 EST 2007

Location:     London Landfill
Observation date:     1/27/07
Directions: If you are interested in gettting a look at any of these birds just go to the London landfill and talk to the supervisor. From down town london follow Wellington well out of town across the 401, turn on the second set of lights on the other side of the 401 (Manning Dr.) follos it until you come to the landfill. Make sure to check in at the front gate when you enter. Also outside the dump on White Oaks just to the west of the dump is a good site to watch the gulls they fly backa nd forth between the dump and the fields and go right over your head in small steady numbers, ideal for identification.  The birds are active and they could turn up anywhere around the dump.

Notes:     Since I biked out to the dump from downtown London I was hoping for some very good birds. I wasn't disappointed. My dad and I are hot on the trail of a Thayer's gull and it is always nice to get a world bird. (If anyone can help me with id I should be able to alleviate my doubts which are few to begin with). Also the Lesser Black Backed is only one less than a lifer for me. Number of species:     14

Red-tailed Hawk     3
Rough-legged Hawk     1
Ring-billed Gull     50     The number fifty is an approximation, I had to approximate with any gulls there in numbers larger than two or three because they kept flying beyond where I was allowed to go. Only a small fractin of the gulls were visible to me at any one time.

Herring Gull     5000     Another approximation, but maybe on the high end, in any case there were enough to fill the sky.

Thayer's Gull: I indentified this bird by it's dark outer primaries which got lighter as they went inward. It seemed pale to be a Thayer's but I have very little experience with them. I think that the dark tips and pale underwing and body settle it though. I recognize it as not an Iceland or a Glaucous which also suggest Thayer's. I noticed on the top of the wing a patch of feather's which was considerably lighter than the rest of the wing which I believe to be the greater coverts and pssibly the other overwing coverts. I would appreciate anyone with Gull knowledge giving me some tips. I have also considered that it may be a hybrid of some nature but have little knowledge about gull hybridization.

Iceland Gull:     3

Lesser Black-backed Gull:  I believe this bird to be a third year. I got several fieldmarks including the small size the contrasting mantle and wingtips and a strong possibility of yellow feet. I couldn't concretely get the yellow feet but the other fieldmarks seem to be enough.

Glaucous Gull:     1     This bird was clearly younger than a third year bird based on the uniform buffy colour. Identified based on overall size and the relatively large and heavy bill.

Great Black-backed Gull     30
Rock Pigeon     3
Horned Lark     30
European Starling     4000
American Tree Sparrow     1
House Sparrow     20

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2 (http://www.ebird.org)

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