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DVOC Field Trip Report

January 13, 2007 (Saturday)

Leader: Matt Sharp

The January 13 Gull trip was a bit frustrating but ended up very well.

The hoped for Black-headed Gull was a no-show on the lawn at Franklin's Cove and I believe there were people looking throughout most of the day.

Our first stop there in the AM did produce 3 separate Iceland (Kumlien's) Gulls for all to get good looks at as well as a motley looking Red-breasted Merganser on the cove.

From there we checked Falls Township Community Park and the Ponds along Wheatsheaf Lane. Again no sign of the Black-headed Gull but we did manage to find around 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 1 apparent Herring x Lesser hybrid. These birds were fairly distant but I think everyone got acceptable looks.

There were ducks on the Wheatsheaf Lane ponds which included Common Mergansers, Bufflehead, Ruddy Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, 1 Com. Goldeneye and some Coots.

From here we headed back down to the Cove hoping birds would start gathering as the rains started getting heavier.

Neither of the rains nor the gull got any more numerous and we were left wondering where to go next. There were plenty of gull around but the majority were on inaccessible private property and they just did not seem too interested in the cove.

Unfortunately at this point, around noon, some folks peeled off to head home. A tip from Linda Rowan and Devich Farbotnik sent us to the Island View Business complex (the former Dial Soap Factory) parking lot in Bristol where we hit pay dirt in the form of an Adult California Gull.

The bird obligingly stayed put as cell phones were pulled out so other folks were able to get the news and get to the parking lot in time to photograph and view the bird before it was flushed off by some bike riding kids and a thoughtless- rude dog walker who drove right through the flock honking his horn!

After maybe an hour with the California Gull and not wanting to quit while we were ahead a few of us headed back to Franklin's Cove in hopes of picking up the Black-headed but there were basically no gulls there so we headed back to the Wheatsheaf Lane ponds where a nice looking adult Iceland topped off the day.

Again access to the big flocks in the Tullytown area is proving difficult but one never know what a little digging and local knowledge will turn up. While we were looking at the California Gull in Bristol another birder was looking at an apparent adult Thayers Gull on private Property in Tullytown so the gulls are there it just takes dilligence and a lot of luck.