Two days ago (January 16), the news came in that an Ivory Gull had been photographed along the Colorado River somewhere near Willow Beach, but it had a broken wing and the report was a few weeks old. I held out hope that it might be loafing at Willow Beach eating fish scraps, but in fact it was several miles below Willow Beach, on a small (likely ephemeral) sand bar, and it was photographed December 30--nothing encouraging about its continued survival or any likelihood of ever refinding it.
Still, this is an amazing first state record if accepted by the ABC! It's so fortunate that the observers, who I gather were not birders, thought to photograph the bird and send them to Andrew Core. Check out the stunning photos here!
Three days ago (January 15), Norman Parrish visited Overton WMA near the north end of the Overton Arm of Lake Mead and photographed a Common Crane! Carl Lundblad got the word out, and it was seen two days later by Rick Fridell, who posted early that it was indeed a Common Crane and still present. David and I debated for about 30 seconds before deciding to go for it! The drive only took about three and a half hours one way, completely reasonable for a lifer for both of us and first NV state record if accepted by the NBRC.
Often in birding we spend a lot of time looking at dull-but-exciting birds like Nutting's Flycatchers. The Common Crane combined local rarity with a high degree of sexiness, so much so that we watched it for about an hour and a half and only left because we realized it was getting late and we still had to drive three and a half hours home.
|One of David's shots of this beautiful MEGA|
|Overton WMA, where we stood and watched the cranes feed|
|This should not happen--and take note that this was taken with a 300mm lens (David's photo)|