Friday, April 3, 2015

Mew Gull outside of Nampa

In mid-September another birder spotted a Mew Gull hanging out near an irrigation canal on some farmland west of Nampa. They’re rare but regular at a few hotspots around the state, mostly at landfills or large lakes/reservoirs, and typically in the middle of the winter. It was nice to have a chance to find one without having to hang out at the landfill, so after we saw the report we headed out.

When we got to the reported location near Chicken Dinner Road and Homedale Road, we spotted the gull right off the bat as we drove up. It couldn’t have been easier! Mew Gulls are quite similar to Ring-billed Gulls, with the most notable difference being the lack of any substantial markings on the bill.

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Mew Gull near Nampa, Canyon County. September 21, 2014.

We made a quick pass along the lower dam at Lake Lowell and through the Dry Lakes on the way home. We didn’t have much time to hang out, but did have a couple of fun finds along the way, including a pair of juvenile Black-crowned Night-herons near the dam, plus an American Pipit and a few straggling Yellow-headed Blackbirds at Dry Lakes.

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Black-crowned Night-herons at Lake Lowell, Canyon County. September 21, 2014.

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American Pipit at Dry Lakes, Canyon County. September 21, 2014.

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Yellow-headed Blackbirds at Dry Lakes, Canyon County. September 21, 2014.

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