Date: 4/2/21 10:11 am
From: Stuart Sparkman <jacamar29...>
Subject: [ia-bird] Big Creek Possible LBBG
Hey I-birders,

Karen, Harney, and I visited Big Creek SP ( northern Polk Co.) this morning
and had a windy walk. Of interest was a distant solitary gull on the water
about even with the jetty at the north end. We had a scope view and
noticed immediately an unusually dark mantle, a largish bill, and a robust
rather than delicate body shape. It was too distant to see details of the
eye. The bill had an obvious mark, though I couldn’t see its color. We
saw the bird through a scope briefly, then it flew south, rather high,
along the western shore of the lake. I viewed it in flight through the
scope and could see a lot of black on the outer third of the wings from
below, including the trailing edge. We did not locate it later. I believe
this was a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, and suggest people at Big Creek and
Saylorville this weekend keep an eye out for it.

Also seen was a couple of COMMON LOONS flying over the lake, a FOY
VESPER SPARROW around the marina parking lot, and several TREE SWALLOWS.
As we walked through a wooded area we had an enchanting encounter with a
pair of GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS as well as a fussy pair of COOPER’S HAWKS
who were acting like they had a nest nearby.

Good Birding

Stuart Sparkman
NW Des Moines

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