[TN-Bird] South Percy Priest Lake gull numbers

  • From: "Scott Somershoe" <Scott.Somershoe@xxxxxx>
  • To: <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 20:25:43 -0600

This afternoon I scoped out a couple spots on the south end of Percy Priest 
Lake to see where massive number of gulls roosting on PPL may be during the 
day.  At each spot I had gulls streaming north, but only at the last stop were 
they incredibly abundant.  I got to Lamar Hill Boat Ramp (Rutherford Co, and is 
pretty far upstream on PPLake) at 4:20pm.  Gulls were streaming north and did 
so continuously until 5:15.  In the end, I counted 14,100 Ring-billed Gulls, 7 
Herring, and 10 Bonaparte's.  At times, the gulls got into kettles like 
raptors, ascending a little, and then streaming north again.

Considering I didn't see many gulls from the Cook Public area coming from the 
south  on Saturday, I wonder if these gulls roost as part of the group closest 
to Suggs Creek/Long Hunter SP that is SE of Cook.  Many birds could arrive from 
the south and roost there, but not be seen arriving since it is so far away.  
That makes me wonder how many birds are roosting out on the lake.  My estimate 
from Saturday of ~26,000 now seems very low.  

On an aside, I found no loons, no grebes, no ducks (other than a couple 
mallards) at the 3 stops, but had 2 imm eagles chasing each other and a pipet 
walking the shoreline from the Fate Sanders Marina.

Good birding!
Scott Somershoe  

State Ornithologist
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
P.O. Box 40747
Nashville, TN 37204
615-781-6653 (o)
601-868-0101 (cell)
615-781-6654 (fax)

"Keeping the rubber side down." -SGS
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