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Tips for finding the Kumlien's Iceland Gull

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  • Floyd Hayes
    Now that the presumed Kumlien s Iceland Gull is more cooperative (it was seen by others Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, so that s 3 days in a row), more
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 21, 2006
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      Now that the presumed Kumlien's Iceland Gull is more
      cooperative (it was seen by others Sunday afternoon
      and Monday morning, so that's 3 days in a row), more
      detailed directions for finding it might be helpful to
      anybody intrepid enough to search for it (and if you
      miss it, hopefully the hordes of waterbirds in the
      area and at Borax Lake will make the trip worthwhile).

      Drive to the home at 11021 Lakeshore Drive, which is a
      few yards northwest of Patterson Drive, 2.3 miles
      northwest of the hairpin curve junction of Lakeshore
      Drive and San Joaquin Avenue, and 4.0 miles northwest
      of the Clearlake Park Post Office. There is a gap
      between this home and the next home to the left,
      fortuitously offering unobstructed views of a
      boathouse (please stay on the road). The gull is seen
      most consistently on the roof of this boathouse, but
      has been seen on the dock visible to the right. It has
      also been seen on the roof of the next boathouse to
      the left, which can be viewed by walking toward the
      house on the right and looking left. Farther left
      there is another boathouse where the gull has also
      been seen, viewed by walking left and crouching to
      look beneath a pine tree. There are additional docks
      with gulls to the left but they can only be partially
      glimpsed by walking down Patterson Drive and peering
      between the homes.

      When not on any of these docks the bird is often
      sitting on the water a few hundred yards offshore or
      flying back and forth over the area. To search for it
      over the water, drive north to the first vacant lot on
      the left (for sale, if anybody wants to live in a
      prime birding locality), park in it, and scan the
      lake. The bird shuttles back and forth between the
      lake and the main boathouse.

      A few hundred gulls have also been hanging out on
      docks in the cove to the north but the gull hasn't
      been seen there, so if you can't find the gull
      anywhere else and gulls happen to be present on those
      docks, be sure to check them out. They're best
      observed rather distantly by peering between homes
      south of the docks or by looking down from the road on
      the hillside north of the docks.

      It's impossible to predict how long the group of gulls
      the bird is hanging out with will continue foraging in
      the area.

      Floyd Hayes
      Hidden Valley Lake, Lake County
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