Continuing gulls at Stockton WTP entrance

Jim Rowoth


Since no one has updated today, here goes. The two “good” gulls that David Yee reported yesterday are still there today. They were seen by multiple observers today, mainly in the morning when the light is best. The massive numbers of Bonaparte’s Gulls here are largely very near the Jack Turk Dr entrance off Highway 4. Fortunately, they both seem to like to perch on the 2nd wooden railing to the west of the gated entrance, where they are easily viewed from outside the gate. (Don’t even dream of trying to go inside the gate.) I had both of them side by side on the back side of this railing, so much of their bodies were blocked by Bonaparte’s. However, the dirty, smudgy head with white eye mascara of the Franklin’s is pretty easy to pick with a little effort. The Black-headed looks essentially like a slightly larger Bonaparte’s BUT it has an orangish bill with a dark tip and, if you are looking through a forest of gull legs standing on the platform, the slightly beefier, orange legs (not pink) are obvious, especially in photos. There was also a hulking (by comparison) Mew Gull next to them this morning. I saw no other gulls, so if you are biased against large, pink-legged gulls (like me), you’re in luck.

A few words about access. Be sure you do not block any of the regular traffic into the complex. Park well off to the side in the gravel; there’s plenty of space. You can walk up to the gate, but as I said above, do NOT enter the gates. There is excellent viewing from the outside through or over the chain link fence. A scope is recommended. I would recommend that after you get the birds, photos, and have a look around, you leave. Several people have reported encounters with security (mostly cordial), but everyone should be on their best behavior so as not to kill the golden goose. We certainly don’t want them to do anything to discourage the birds from hanging around the entrance. (Note: the sign on the gate regarding birdwatchers is outdated; we haven’t been allowed inside in years.)

And as for safety, be very careful with your left turn if returning to Stockton.

Jim Rowoth

Jim Rowoth
Stockton, CA