Date of sighting: 22 march 2014
Spring is coming early!
This morning there were a couple hundred gulls on Old Marina Island (excuse me,peninsula). They were calling and looking all excited to set up territories for a new season. More were on one of the mounded islands to the south they also nested on last year.
Last year these islands hosted 9% of the entire population. It has (had) a lot of advantages for gulls: close to fresh water and high alkali fly densities. At the end of last summer Old Marina became essentially connected to the mainland from lake level decline, and a Coyote obliterated the remaining unfledged young in late July (apparently well over 100).
This important nesting site has not been connected to the mainland like this since gulls were first found nesting there, almost 10 years ago. Hopefully they’ll figure out it’s not safe and move out to Negit or Paoha. People seem to wander out there a lot, too. Seemed like a lot of flies already out around there.
Lots of new birds keep arriving: sapsucker, kestrels. A warm early spring!