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Ross’s gull brings more reports of good things to see

A Ross's gull photographed at Palmer Lake in Okanogan County in December 2011 by Kenneth Trease. (Kenneth Trease)
A Ross's gull photographed at Palmer Lake in Okanogan County in December 2011 by Kenneth Trease. (Kenneth Trease)

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- More reports are coming in from birdwatchers traveling to Palmer Lake in Okanogan County to enjoy the rare chance to see a Ross's gull.

Check out this Christmas eve report:

So I'm not much of a gull guy, but Washington's second documented Ross's gull was 97 miles from where I live, so I figured I'd better head for Palmer Lake.

I must admit, I got more pumped about the male pileated woodpecker working the trees on the lake side of the No Trespassing apple boxes mid way up Palmer Lake and the convocation of eagles (multiple juvenile bald and a first year golden with white tail band and "wrist patches" just like in Sibley's) that were feeding on a carcass in the field just north of Loomis.

But sure enough, the Ross's was flying back and forth at the north end of the lake at 12:09 pm on 12/24/11. Distant but unmistakable views - the contrast between light gray upper wing and dark gray underwings was very cool. Any biologists care to speculate why this bird has reverse countershading?

A big thank you to the Tweeters who posted locations, the birders who had tracked the bird down this morning, and especially to Mr. Heinlein for finding it and letting us know.

- Roy Myers, Electric City, WA
 




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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