Date: 11/8/18 2:55 pm From: Greg Scyphers <scyph...> Subject: Pyramid Lake (more Scoters and a "small" gull)
This morning, 11-8-18, I birded some of the spots at Pyramid Lake. At the South Nets beach all of the previously reported Scoters were present. Birds here included 2 White-winged Scoters, 2 Surf Scoters, 1 Black Scoter, 1 Greater Scaup, 4 Hooded Mergansers and a smattering of Bufflehead and Ruddy Ducks.
From the turnout along the highway above and south of Pelican Point, I observed a distant small flock of Bonaparte's Gulls. As I panned through the spread out group that was actively flying down to the water and wheeling around in the wind, I observed a clearly smaller individual. The birds were so distant and covering serious ground or more accurately water as they moved quickly to the north. I watched the group fly past Pelican Point. I quickly drove up to Windless Bay to try to intercept the flock but couldn't relocate the birds again. Anyone birding Pyramid Lake in the near future should keep an eye out for this flock. If encountered, look closely, you may be rewarded with a Little Gull (probably a 2nd winter bird or shall I more accurately say certainly not a first winter bird based on what I saw).
In Windless Bay, I found two more White-winged Scoters. As I drove over to where I observed them, a boat flushed them. They both appeared to be adult males with orangish bills, black bodies and white marks at the eye. The birds flew way out and to the north. Also observed here was a flyby Pacific Loon, two more Hooded Mergansers, a group of Gadwall and around 5 Common Loons.
At Sand Hole there was another Greater Scaup and 3 more Hooded Mergansers. I guess they are starting to arrive in numbers now.
Finally, on the drive home in Palomino Valley there were some Mountain Bluebirds along the highway.