On November 5th, I came went home from a morning of birding at Morgan City Wash. I was hoping to relocate a Bay-breasted Warbler that had been found nearby. The bird was no doubt a long shot and I knew it, but I still tried and didn't come up with it. When I got home I was tired and started to take a nap. My phone ringing woke me up and I saw that it was Caleb calling. Caleb said, "I've got a juvenile Laughing Gull at Hidden Lake!". I woke up very quick and was out the door, on my first Laughing Gull chase in Maricopa County.
Caleb told me how to access the where he discovered the bird. I drove to the spot and it wasn't long before I got to see the gull. It became a Maricopa County life bird for me, and I was pumped. Mary was right behind me and we enjoyed it together for awhile and Mary captured great photographs as she usually does. It was awesome to watch this rarity for awhile and observe it flying over Hidden Lake with views of the desert in the background.
Caleb found the Laughing Gull when he didn't have binoculars and made the call with his naked eye. Awesome story! Caleb joined Mary and I, and then Ronnie, Dara, and Ryan joined us shortly after. Sadly, the Gull seemingly flew off right before Ronnie, Dara, and Ryan came. We had fun together and hung out at Hidden Lake for awhile. Hidden Lake is an awesome place, and it is a place Caleb has worked at full time and part time. They were getting ready for a busy event that they were hosting when the gull showed up, and thanks to Caleb and his boss, Jennifer Mladik, we were able to go. It was awesome of Jen to open her property up to us, and I'm thankful to her and Caleb for being able to see this rare bird.
And not locating the gull that night turned out to be beneficial for Ronnie, Dara, and Ryan. It was back at Hidden Lake the next day, and they were all able to not only get the Laughing Gull, but their county Heerman's Gulls too! HEEG was a county lifer for Caleb too, and it was awesome that he found both of those rare birds (both county lifers for him) while working.
Other than the Laughing Gull, here are a few more cool birds I've seen lately. 2020's birding continues as being awesome!