Slaty-backed Gull – NO still a great day

Adult Iceland Gull - Beacon, New York 1/22/12

Cackling Goose - Wallkill River at Lippincott Road 1/22/12

Today, 1/22/12, I traveled to Ulster and Dutchess Counties with the specific goal of seeing the Slaty-backed Gull found by Curt McDermott yesterday. The gull never showed. It was however a great day. I first birded the area near the Wallkill River. I ran in to Tom Burke and Gail Benson who informed me that there was a Cackling Goose on the river on Lippincott Road. I went right over and thanks to their good directions, found the bird right away. I went from there to the Compost Pile at Watchtower Farms, but unlike Friday, there were few gulls. I then headed to Wallkill where I found at least a 1000 geese on the river. Among the Canada Geese were two Snow Geese, a juvenile and an adult. I then headed to Beacon where I began the gull search behind the Beacon Train Station. Just moments after I arrived, an adult basic Iceland Gull landed just off shore from us. Through the course of the afternoon at least 50 birders stood vigil for the Slaty-backed Gull. We had hundreds of Herring Gulls, hundreds of Ring-billed Gulls, several dozen Great Black-backed Gulls and a total of five ICELAND GULLS. Four first year birds and one adult basic. As always, its nice to catch up with old friends and see some special birds even though the target didn’t show.

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