Since the Intervale Compost Facility in Burlington just stopped accepting
any more compost, I thought I better get down there before the all the gulls
figure out they need to look elsewhere for food. A few hundred gulls were
resting in a field to the north of the facility until about 9:30, when they
moved to the compost piles. Most were Herring Gulls, with many Ring-bills
and Great Black-backs mixed in. I also found one ICELAND GULL. It had gray
scapulars but its secondaries were still pale/white, as were the wing-tips.
It also had a dark smudge or ring around the bill. Based on these markings I
believe it's a 3rd winter bird.
The Intervale vehicles are still moving piles of compost around, so the
facility may continue to attract birds for awhile. But since they aren't
taking any new materials, and I think they shut down completely this summer,
time to see birds there is running short. Purely from a gull-watching
standpoint, that's too bad because it's been one of the best place around to
see lots of gulls up close and to find unusual gulls visiting Vermont in the
-- Scott Schwenk