Western Gull plus 6 other species at Canyon Co. Dump!

This afternoon Jay Carlisle, Heidi Ware, Anna Fasoli, and I went to search for interesting gulls at the Pickles Butte Dump (Canyon County Dump). There were hundreds of California Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls around and we quickly spotted a few Herring Gulls and Franklin’s Gulls. About 10 minutes after we arrived a 1st winter Glaucous-winged Gull flew past. This was a lifer for Anna and I. After scanning through a flock of loafing California Gulls for a few minutes, Jay spotted what looked like a good candidate for a Lesser Balck-backed Gull. Once we were able to get some better looks, it was clear we had a Lesser Black-back. About an hour later we drove back over to the other side of the dump and standing right in front of us was an adult Western Gull. This species has been reported only a few times in Idaho and is a species that Jay and Heidi have been hoping to find for a few years. Unfortunately the Western Gull flew away as soon as we spotted it, and seemingly left the dump. However, we were sure we had seen a Western Gull; the pink legs, dark mantle, and overall large size was perfect for that species. Luckily, we resighted the bird about 30 minutes later and were able to study it better and get some photos. Below are a few photos that Anna and I took today of the various gull species (7 total) we were able to find.

Western Gull (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Western Gull (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Lesser Black-backed Gull - center; sleeping (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Glaucous-winged Gull - 1st winter (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Franklin's Gull (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Western Gull defending its lunch (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Glaucous-winged Gull (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Glaucous-winged Gull (top) and Western Gull (photo by Anna Fasoli)

Franklin's Gull (photo by Anna Fasoli)

Ring-billed Gull (photo by Anna Fasoli)

Glaucous-winged Gull (photo by Anna Fasoli)