Birding in Calhoun County and beyond
The American Ornithological Society released changes to Classification and Nomenclature, and the ABA blog had a nice summary of the changes. One in particular has some impact to Calhoun County bird records, as well as my own. The lumping of Thayer's Gull with Iceland Gull puts to bed a somewhat controversial issue, and at times frustrating one.
One March 28th, 2015 at the CC Landfill I was checking out the gulls and managed to snap some photos of a pale winged gull. I submitted the ID as a Thayer's Gull. The tail band on it eliminated Iceland for me, along with the rounded head, dark pink legs, light primaries and only slightly bigger than Ring-billed size pointed me to Thayer's. After some discussion with the eBird reviewer I was asked to enter it as a Thayer's/Iceland Gull. Not a bad decision given how hard it is to nail these birds. Now that they are lumped to together I have to believe that this bird can now be changed to Iceland Gull.
Not only would this be a county first, but the closest other Thayer's/Iceland in eBird is in Kent County. This bird would be currently a Code 6, making it the rarest bird I have found in the County, by quite a bit. St. Joseph County had Thayer's Gull(s) and Iceland Gulls earlier this year, so that data will contribute to my 2018 coding. Should still put it as a Code 4 or more likely Code 5 bird when all is said and done. Once the Clements checklist comes out, (which eBird ties to)I'll approach Marc North about resubmitting this bird as an Iceland Gull.
If that is green lit Iceland Gull would become bird #197 for the County, with Dickcissel now becoming the milestone #200 bird. My 2015 total would move to 192. My new total would be 229 for the County. Yeah so the Mockingbird dip takes on some milestone significance as I try to get to 230 before the end of the year.
If you want to read more about the Thayer's and Iceland Gull "issue" you can find some excellent posts on Anything Larus listed below.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)