Nice find David.  

First Glaucous this winter. Showing a white neck/collar.
I got poor looks and very poor pics of the gull.  
It looks to be small female:
Sorry pic taken through glass: Note smaller size than Herring.

Ducks as reported.  Again nice find David.

Bill Rudden
St. Louis

--- On Tue, 12/21/10, David Becher <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: David Becher <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: REDA and Columbia Bottom mostly gulls
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 4:40 PM

The Riverlands area is full of gulls.  Ring-bills are still the vast majority, but more Herrings are arriving all the time.   In the flock below the dam on the Illinois side was a first year Glaucous Gull.  There were plenty of other gulls and a small flock of Canvasback and Greater Scaup near the end of the locks.  Alton Barge (becareful of the tank trap near the entrance it is partially hidden by the ice and wate in it) produced a first year Thayer's Gull.  Excellent views of the gulls that hang out near the bridge are available from the Alton CIty boat launch under the dam.  There was a distant bird that appeared to be a first year Lesser Black-backed Gull there.  In addition, there were a fair number of Common Goldeneye and Mergansers.  There were lots more gulls at Riverlands, but I did not find anything else interesting.  With the warmer day, there was more open water and there were large flocks of Mallards and a variety of other ducks.
Confluence Road on the other hand was remarkably dull.  Two visits produced a Harrier and some Kestrels.  Small birds were notably absent and I did not see a single Horned Lark or Meadowlark.  Something seems to have swept the birds away.  Columbia Bottom was also not very birdy although the dark morph Red-tailed Hawk was perched by the road just down from the road to HQ.  There are lots of Red-tailed Hawks there and it is a great place for observing the immense amount of variation that they show.  I was unable to refind the Spotted Towhee in two visits, but there is a lot of habitat in the area and by my second stop it was very muddy and I did not stay long.
David Becher
Saint Louis
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