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

jaybrd49 at aol.com jaybrd49 at aol.com
Sat Dec 10 09:42:34 EST 2011


 We had an Iceland Gull there on Monday, 12/5 while looking for the Thayer's.  You are right, however, one would think there would be Lesser Black-backed and a few white-winged gulls with a flock of that size.  This landfill is the last one for gulls in the area.  At one time, there were huge gull flocks traveling from Hartford to East Hartford to Manchester to feast at the dumps. I can recall numbers exceeding 10,0000 gulls.  Our Christmas Bird Count totals for gulls have taken a severe drop since the closing of the three landfills. Unfortunately, the Bloomfield-Windsor Landfill is outside our Count circle.

Jay Kaplan


-----Original Message-----
From: mresch8702 <mresch8702 at aol.com>
To: ctbirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Sat, Dec 10, 2011 6:24 am
Subject: [CT Birds] No Thayer's, 12/9 PM

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 

Mike Resch
Pepperell, MA

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