A Rare Bird Next Door

My friends Lisa and Scott have a successful compost business in the neighboring town where they take organic scraps and waste from restaurants, breweries, and a host of other sources and create wonderful soil and conditioner that is treasured by organic gardeners and landscapers. They also host a great array of birds who flock to check out their rows of steaming goodies.

For several weeks a couple of rare gulls have been hanging out and attracting birders from all over Vermont and adjacent states. I’ve been pretty tied up and away from birding but yesterday, took the short jaunt over to check out the action. Scott waved to me from the big front end loader as I parked and scanned the piles of compost and the hundred gulls feeding, flying periodically, and returning to the large mounds of organic matter. A few Ring-billed gulls, more Great Black-backed gulls, and even more Herring Gulls. I was looking for a rarity and spotted it right away as it posed front and center in the group. An Iceland Gull: smaller than a Herring Gull, no black wingtips, with a black beak, pink legs and feet. Life bird!  They should all be so easy.

I was also looking for a Glaucous Gull which had been reported but which I didn’t see it. Perhaps I’ll head back before we head to Texas.

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