Sunday, January 29, 2017

NY - ROSS'S GULL in the Adirondacks.......fantastic!

Ross's Gull - first-cycle, Tupper Lake, Franklin Co., NY. January 29th, 2017.

Last Thursday (Jan 26th) Nick Bonomo posted news of a Ross's Gull being seen at Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks, New York State. Nowadays, I don't dwell too much on reported rarities but I would have to confess that Ross's Gull has been at the top of my 'most desired' birdlist for some time. The location was four hours drive from my home in Northfield, just about on the limit of how far I'd be prepared to drive for a bird in a single day. But this was different, it was a Ross's Gull and when Scott Surner suggested that we try for the bird on Sunday (Jan 29th) there was no way that Brian Kane and I could turn it down.

We arrived at Tupper Lake boat ramp at about 10:30 hours and found the Ross's Gull straight away, thanks to a tiny handful of birders already there. The entire experience was just perfect. It was literally the only gull present, delicately picking at the surface of the ice and eleganting careening through horizontal snow showers, a situation seemingly totally appropriate for a true denizen of the Arctic. We were treated to the most fabulous display for next 90 minutes and left feeling totally awestruck. Quite simply, as an experience, it couldn't have been any better.

Gracious thanks to the initial finder and the continued updates from field observers, and especially to my field companions Scott and Brian. Even the sobering sight of a road-killed Northern Saw-whet Owl on the journey home did little to sour the euphoric mood in the car. What a day that was!

Northern Swa-whet Owl - Cambridge, Washington Co., NY. January 29th, 2017.
Very unfortunate road-kill about one mile south of Cambridge.


JRandSue said...

Wow,a dream come true,well worth the four hour drive,stunning captures James.

Nick Bonomo said...

Amazing, James. What a great bird. I'm not sure I've been quite this thrilled chasing a bird since the adult Ivory Gull from Gloucester several years back. There's something special about these small high arctic gulls. I've been on a high ever since seeing that Ross's. An added bonus was seeing the bird in those cold, northern conditions. I doubt that one picking worms out of a California farm field would have been quite the same!

James P. Smith said...

I totally agree Nick. The entire experience was out of this World. Thanks for getting the word out in the first place. You did the right thing in acting on it quickly and getting up there on the day that you received the info. Fortunately for us three it stuck around and we all had a brilliant day out on Sunday. Phrase of the day was "Lake-effect snow" which seemed to crop up each and every hour! Surprise of the day was just how few birders were there looking for it.....we saw less than a dozen birders which left me a little baffled. I'm still buzzing from Sunday.....that was much more than just another life bird.