So let's turn back the clock two weeks. Jeff Bilsky and I visited all the usual Salt Lake County gull hotspots (Lee Kay Ponds, Decker Lake, Saltair, and Lake Park). Depsite seeing several thousand gulls, it was the typical mix of 95% California, 4.9% Ring-billed, and less than 1% "other". The other this time were a handful of Herring Gulls. No Thayer's, no Glaucous, nothing, nada, zip!
A couple days later someone reported an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull at Decker Lake, ensuring the birds were arriving for the winter, and we may have been a tad early. Typically I wait until around Christmas to seriously start looking for gulls. The week leading up to New Years has always been productive, producing at least 10 species of gulls, along with hybrids, and other unidentified individuals. Lee Kay ponds has been the go to place, but in the last couple years Decker Lake and Lake Park have both been pretty good when Lee Kay is barren. The gulls seem to move around--and thus far we haven't identified a pattern, only that if the gulls aren't at one location, they are almost always at one of the others.
Over the next month, I am going to write a series of posts about the species of gulls that we have recorded in the past few years, as well as information about the locations, including the best time to go, where to view from, and anything that might be helpful for gulling in Salt Lake County.