Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Holy Smokes!!!


At about 12:30pm today, Ted Cable and Gerry Snyder found a ROSS'S GULL at "The Tubes" at the Tuttle creek reservoir near Manhattan, Kansas!!

Photos are here:

Below is a paste of the initial post from Ted Cable:
Over the lunch hour today I along with Gerry Snyder found a Ross's Gull
below the tubes at Tuttle. Eventually it was seen and photographed by
Jim Shroyer and Dave Rintoul. At about 12:40 if flew south down river
out of site. While Fred and Pat Freeman waited at the tubes some of us
went down to Rocky Ford and searched for it there but did not relocate
it. So the bottom line is that it has not been seen since then. I
suppose it might be along the KS river. I will try to check later this
afternoon. Unfortunately the Corps is not releasing any water from the
tubes so there is little to hold the bird. In fact initially it was the
only gull present. It was just sitting near the shore seemingly trying
to stay out of the brutal north wind. Dave said he'd post his photos
soon. I will submit mine later today. - Ted

Ted T. Cable, Ph.D.
Professor and Assistant Department Head
Dept of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources
2021 Throckmorton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
ph: 785-532-1408

Here is a followup post from Dan Mulhern:

Gene's original message about the Ross' Gull was shown as posted at 11:57
a.m., but for some reason I didn't see it on my computer till about a
quarter till 2 this afternoon. And, by the way, before I forget it, a big
shout out to Al Gore for inventing the internet. I find it nothing short
of miraculous that I can electronically learn about a rare bird in my own
hometown by some guy in Oklahoma the same day it's been spotted. God bless

So anyway, I got the message and immediately took a quick break from work
to drive out to the tubes, arriving at the gravel turnout downstream from
the tubes at approximately 2:03 p.m. At 2:04 p.m. I spotted the little
bugger floating on the river right below where I was parked. Sure wish I'd
taken a camera; got killer looks at it. I rolled the window down to see
him more clearly than through winter-grimed glass, and didn't think to turn
off the radio. It wasn't THAT loud, but at 2:06 he took off and flew up
towards the tubes. This confirms a lifelong theory I've held that Ross'
Gulls do not like Led Zeppelin.

I'm thinking he's going to fly to the tubes and light again, to be gently
carried back downstream by the slow releases coming out of Tuttle. So I
drove down the hill toward the parking area all the fishermen use, and was
met by the Ross' Gull flying back downstream in the opposite direction. I
got down to the parking area, and could not find it again either in flight
or on the river anywhere. After waiting a few minutes I made the trek over
to Rocky Ford to see if he'd gone that far, but there was no sight of him
there either. There was a handful of Ring-billed Gulls, quite a large
number of Canada Geese, several Mallards, Gadwall and Green-winged Teal,
and approximately 428,751 Crows. Standing out on the ramp at Rocky Ford in
12 degrees made me realize this was a bad place to look for a rare gull, so
I returned to the tubes for another short vigil. By 2:45 I was headed back
into town, with nothing but the glorious memory of my 3-minute encounter
with a LIFE BIRD! Thanks to Ted and Gerry for reporting this to Gene who
reported it to the rest of us.

Dan Mulhern

Hopefully the bird will stick around for some time.
Ross's Gulls are birds of the high arctic and, while they are an ABA code 3 bird,
They are quite rare anywhere in the lower 48 states.

Google maps tells me that I live 597 miles away from this bird.
Anyone going??

1 comment:

A. ☮ said...

This must be the year for rarities! 8^O

Haha, the arrival of the normally-arctic Ross' Gull could be saying something about the recent cold weather going across the country... ;-)