[CT Birds] No Thayer's, 12/9 PM

mresch8702 at aol.com mresch8702 at aol.com
Sat Dec 10 06:24:27 EST 2011

Several birders spent from 12:30 till 3:30 at the landfill on Friday (12/9) with no luck picking out the the Thayer's  The number of gulls was around 1,000 or maybe 1,500, but not the 2,000 estimated by Greg Hanisek in the morning.  As Greg mentioned, there are certainly lots of 1st cycle Herrings to look at, some with smaller darker bills and many with a checkerboard mantle. A number appeared to have all black bills, some that were smaller than others, but if you looked at the bills closely, there was some pinkish coloring near the base of both mandibles.  And none had the paler primaries required to make it a Thayer's.

One other note - the gulls were situated in 4 different areas at the landfill (construction debris area, trash area, and 2 roosting/sleeping flocks), so you couldn't see all the flock at once.  Plus, there are hills and small depressions birds can hide behind or in, so you can't safely say that you are looking at each bird that may be present at any one time.  I kept thinking that the Thayer's might have been there but was hidden somewhere, but I gave up at 3:30 when the birds started flying off to roost (the trash deliveries stopped so no need for the birds to stay).

No other unusual gulls were present which seemed a bit odd for a flock of this size, though maybe it's a bit too early in the year for the Lesser/Iceland/Glaucous group.

Mike Resch
Pepperell, MA


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