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7722access to gulls in Davis

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  • Steve Hampton
    Feb 13, 2009
      (sorry for cross-posting)


      Yesterday, Todd Easterla and others found a number of excellent gulls at the Davis Wastewater Treatment Plant. This is ne of Davis at the corner of Rds 28H and 105. Highlights:

      1 apparent 1st year "Glaucoides" ICELAND GULL (1st county and perhaps 3rd or 4th state record)
      1 apparent 1st year "Kumlien's" ICELAND GULL (regular here)
      1 adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (1st county record)
      1 potential adult VEGA GULL
      1 very pale 1st year GLAUCOUS GULL
      3 adult and 1 1st year WESTERN GULL (rare locally)

      The location also has hundreds of THAYER'S and GL-W GULLS and many GL-W x HERRING hybrids.

      Todd posted photos of the Glaucoides and the LBBG at CalGulls Yahoo group. Look for the Feb 12 date on the folders.

      All of the gulls were viewed from Rd 28H along the driveway into the treatment plant. Be sure to pull as far to the side of the road as possible, as trucks use this road.

      Access into the treatment plant is allowed. You must sign in at the office and then you can walk all around the ponds-- however, this would flush the gulls, so it's best to stay on the road.

      Access to the adjacent Yolo County Landfill, where the birds feed, is VERY sensitive (and muddy). This should only be done in coordination with local birders who know the staff there and know the property.

      The birds typically roost on the treatment plant levees, with numbers building thru the day, so best in the afternoon. With south winds, which we expect with the current storms, the birds move to the south end (close to Rd 28H) seemingly to avoid the wind fetch across the ponds. The LBBG was very close to the road. With north winds, they go to the north side, which is too far from the road for satisfactory views and requires entering the plant.

      The Davis Wetlands are adjacent as well-- just continue east thru the yellow gate. The gate is closed but not locked during open hours (daily 7am to 1pm); sign in at the kiosk next to the gate.

      good birding,

      Steve Hampton
      Resource Economist
      Office of Spill Prevention and Response
      California Dept of Fish and Game
      PO Box 944209
      Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
      (916) 323-4724 phone
      (916) 324-8829 fax
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