Date: 10/31/19 7:31 pm
From: <clearwater...>
Subject: [obol] Fwd: Coffin Butte gull flock growing
I haven't seen any significant local reports of inland gull flocks in the Willamette Valley between Fern Ridge and Portland so far this fall, either on eBird or on OBOL, so thought this might be worth forwarding. The flock has been growing for at least a few days now and will likely stay around for most of the winter, probably roosting at night in Albany.


From: "clearwater" <clearwater...>
To: "Midvalley Birding Midvalley" <birding...>
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2019 3:58:09 PM
Subject: Coffin Butte gull flock growing

Yesterday afternoon and again this afternoon, upward of 140 gulls were at Coffin Butte Regional Landfill, on the west side of Hwy 99W midway between Corvallis and Monmouth.

Most were resting on the front (east) slope of the landfill, while about 30 chased each other around on the remedial wetland next to the scale house (the wetland used to have a sign that said "Toketie Marsh" but the sign is gone now).

When I stopped just outside the landfill entrance to scan them briefly yesterday, it looked like all or nearly all of them were gulls of the larger "pink-legged" types (i.e., no obvious California, Ring-billed, or Mew Gulls). I could pick out a few apparent Glaucous-winged Gulls and so-called "Olympic" (Glaucous-winged x Western hybrid) Gulls. I'd guess that a closer look would turn up fair numbers of Herring Gulls which are usually around this site in winter, and perhaps also "Thayer's" Gulls (now lumped with Iceland Gulls), maybe even a reasonably "pure" Western Gull or a Glaucous Gull.

For anyone who wants to study this flock in more detail, I'd suggest Sunday when the landfill is closed, so you can stop outside the entrance and look without a constant stream of trucks going by. A spotting scope would be useful, since where they're hanging out is mainly 60+ yards back from the entrance road and gate.

--
Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis


 
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