Posted by: atowhee | October 28, 2013


Russ Namitz, Bob Hunter and I all converged on the Heermann’s Gull at Emigrant Lake late this afternoon. But that wasn’t the only bird of interest.
Gary Schaffer confirms that he and some birding pals had photographed a Heermann’s Gull in October, 2009, at Lost Creek Lake. That could mean this is just the second Heermann’s Gull recorded in Jackson County. The Heermann’s Gull is highly unusual this far from the Pacific Ocean.heerm afarx

heerm flite (1280x1280) These are my best shots of the all-dark Heermann’s Gull, in bad light under rainy sky as the sun had already disappeared for the day.

heerm gwt (1280x1280)The little dark bird in front is a Green-winged Teal.

heerm in air2 (1280x1280)

heerm left
None of my Heermann’s images are even close to the clarity and closeness of the one the Kreismans got when they discovered this rarity earlier today. Click here to see their good image.
I’ve now learned that Klamath County also has two previous records of a Heermann’s Gull on the east side of the Cascades.
Heermann’s breed in southern California and Mexico along the Pacific Coast, then spend late summer through mid-winter in the northern Pacific, following the Elegant Terns and Brown Pelicans and trying to steal their fish.

I’ve birded Emigrant Lake dozens of times in all seasons. I’ve never seen as many waterfowl there as were paddling about this evening. Easily 2000 birds. Coots were most abundant. But there was a variety of ducks including Greater Scaup. This species is not common this far inland. May have ridden the same winds that brought the Heermann’s Gull here. Also a few grebes were present.

Only slightly less surprising than the Heermann’s were four Sandhill cranes bugling and circling the lake. Evidently they are going to overnight here in Jackson County before heading south. Visibility above the Siskiyou Pass this evening was about zero . Not good flying weather even for a crane.cranes cu in air (1280x1280)

gray on graycransx4c (1280x1280)cranes-gull
Cranes soaring past gull.
crans-dux Cranes soaring past ducks. Gray on gray.

This is a male Harrier. On Saturday we saw dozens of Harriers in Klamath Basin and not one was an adult male.
harr male

harr male2 (1280x1280)

Emigrant Lake, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 28, 2013 4:30 PM. 20 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
American Wigeon (Anas americana) X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) X
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) X
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) X
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) X
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) X
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) X adult male
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) X
American Coot (Fulica americana) 500
Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) 4
Heermann’s Gull (Larus heermanni) 1
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 25
Herring Gull
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) X
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) X
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) X

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