On Saturday the 27th I finally relocated the possible 1st-cycle Thayer's X Iceland Gull (first seen briefly at Walmart on 7 December) at Clearlake. After further scrutiny I now think it is a fair candidate for a "KUMLIEN'S" ICELAND GULL, although the CBRC will be the ultimate judge of its identity. You can judge the photos for yourself at:
It is hanging out with a group of 1st-cycle gulls, especially GLAUCOUS-WINGED and THAYER'S GULLS. I saw it from from 2:45-3:25 pm on Saturday and again on Sunday from 1:30-3:30 pm on a dock at the south end of Golf Ave., which is just south of Redbud Park. From the stoplight at Highway 53 and Lakeshore Boulevard, drive west toward the lake, turn left (south) at the next light onto Old State Highway 53, turn right on Ball Park Ave., and then turn left on Golf Ave. At the end of Golf Ave. there is a narrow grassy corridor with a long dock visible at the end. The gulls can be viewed from the road. A few of us were previously granted permission by the owner of the Lake Club to walk out toward the dock and Nick Shepherd is trying to obtain permission for all birders; in the meanwhile it is better not to trespass. I also saw the gull briefly today on the roof of Walmart (8:40-8:41 am) and (with Nick) at the landfill (8:55-9:00 am).
The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL hangs out with the CALIFORNIA GULLS and has become increasingly difficult to locate. In November I saw it during 4 of 5 days but this month only during 4 of 13 days. On Sunday I saw it on the beach at Austin Park from 12:27-12:50 pm; when flushed by others it flew far to the north and disappeared. I got some very close photos, one of which is posted at:
The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL is probably easiest to see at Austin Park, where gulls have been consistently congregating at about 7:15 am. By 8:00 am most of the gulls have departed the lake for either the roof of Walmart (viewable from the hillside beside the parking lot) or the landfill (viewable from the paved road on the hill to the left; do NOT enter the landfill!), and they begin trickling back to the lake during late morning. Most sit out on the water off Redbud and Austin Parks, but many congregate on the beach and dock at Austin Park and on a few docks at Redbud Park and south of the park. The afternoon is the best time to look for the presumed ICELAND GULL at Golf Ave.
During the CBC on Saturday the 20th, three of us had good but brief looks at a presumed adult NORTHERN GOSHAWK on the forested ridge along Crestview Drive near the north tip of Sulphur Bank Point (northwest of Clearlake Park and Borax Lake). It was a very large, pale-gray, long-tailed Accipiter, but it was facing away from us and we didn't see the white eyebrow before it flew. I've been unable to relocate it three times.
This afternoon I saw a male EURASIAN WIGEON along with several HOODED MERGANSERS and CANVASBACKS on Detert Reservoir (Butts Canyon Road, south of Middletown).
Hidden Valley Lake, CA