Kansas City Area Birders (and anyone else interested):
Spent some time this morning at Smithville Lake (Clay County, MO) picking through the thousands of gulls. I estimate there are at least 10,000 gulls at the lake, as of today. Quite a sight! Highlights:
FRANKLIN'S GULL-1 (earliest spring date for me)
Bonaparte's Gull-3 (Little Platte channel)
THAYER'S GULL-2 (both adults; one seen from the Crow's Creek Pavilion [Fisher's bird] and one loafing near the hole by the north end of the dam. The Crow's Creek THGU shows minimal head streaking; the other has a heavily streaked head and neck)
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL-1 (3rd cycle bird; virtually no white on primary tips, brownish coloration mixed in with the charcoal gray of wing coverts. Same spot as yesterday...Little Platte Marina boat launch area.)
Herring Gull-200+
Ring-Billed Gull-9,000+
Still a lot of puddle and diving ducks around (Horned Grebe came in yesterday), probably 1,500+ total ducks. The ice is breaking up and melting fast! As this happens, the gulls are spreading out over the lake and large concentrations are difficult to locate.
I'll try to get some gull photos up soon...
Good Birding!
Doug Willis
Liberty, MO
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