Hi all,
        Some days the birding is short but sweet. I left work this afternoon 
and made a quick loop around fantasizing about Black Vultures. No Vultures 
appeared, but the resident RED-SHOULDERED HAWK at the lab flew in front of me 
and landed on the power lines letting be check him out for a while. 
        Then when making a quick stop to gaze at food scrapes in the compost 
piles a very large white-winged gull, flying around, caught my eye. The adult 
GLAUCOUS GULL landed on the piles with the Herring Gulls and allowed some good 
viewing at binocular distance before they all got up to fly, maybe, back to the 
lake. 
        I decided to quit when I was ahead and have dinner. 
Gary

On Jan 26, 2011, at 10:58 AM, Jay McGowan wrote:

Hi all,
I've been to the Cornell compost facility off Stevenson Road several
times in the last few days.  Over the weekend, Kevin had a
second-cycle ICELAND GULL:
http://picasaweb.google.com/KevinJ.McGowan/Gulls201102#5565806580337010306
On Monday, gull numbers were very low and I was not able to find
anything out of the ordinary.  Yesterday, after the return of the
students and the resulting influx of wasted food, the numbers were
greatly augmented.  I found an adult ICELAND GULL with moderately dark
wingtips and an interesting pale Herring-type Gull that may well be a
Herring x Glaucous hybrid (Nelson's Gull), or possibly just an
abnormally large, pale Herring Gull.  A sequence of this bird begins
here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/jmcgowan57/Winter20102011#5566183702254267842
Finally, today I checked in again.  All the gulls were up on the
hillside above the piles when I arrived and I was not able to pick out
anything unusual.  As I was about to leave a noticed a few gulls that
had moved onto the lower piles near the entrance, and quickly found an
adult GLAUCOUS GULL among them.  This bird flew around a lot and
probably went to the fresh pile as soon as I left.  It stands a head
taller than the surrounding Herring Gulls, with pure white wingtips, a
slightly paler gray mantle, large head and bill, and an obvious yellow
eye.  A sequence of this bird begins here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/jmcgowan57/Winter20102011#5566522186077431218

As I was coming up Rt. 13 between Warren and Sapsucker Woods, I saw a
pair of COMMON RAVENS flying northwest over the road.  As I was
walking into the Lab, I saw another COMMON RAVEN flying north over the
pond, calling loudly as it flew.  Other birds at the Lab lately
include the continuing FIELD SPARROW, a female PURPLE FINCH, a flock
of COMMON REDPOLLS, and several WHITE-THROATED and SONG SPARROWS.

Good birding.
Jay McGowan
Dryden, NY

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