Friday, February 27, 2009

Slaty-backed Gull (Barton's Cove) 2/27/09

I was able to make it out to Barton's Cove on the Connecticut River in Gill/Turner's Falls, for the evening gull roost. Arriving at about 5PM, a few people were looking for the bird on Riverview Drive. I scanned a bit, then spoke a bit with the gentleman parked in front of me,the Slaty-backed had not been seen yet. The few people a 150 yards futher down the road appeared to still be "working" the the flock of 500+ gulls and giving the appearance the "target bird" was not in view. Fortunately, more gulls were still trickling in.

Digi-scoped in very poor light and rain, Slaty-backed Gull

Scanning through the birds I was able to pick out a nice adult Lesser Black-backed Gull and a few first year type Icelands. A moment later "THE" bird popped into view, initially trying to look like a 2nd or 3rd year Lesser Black-backed but had darkish legs and was bulky (not the mor esleek profile of a LBB Gull) appearing larger than the near by Herring Gulls. Mark Fairbrother, a local birder, came by to say hello and concurred this was the bird. For the next half hour all present, birders from Ma./Vt./Ct. and NY(long Island) enjoyed nice views of this bird in a variety of poses.

We also studied a first year Thayer's like Gull a bit, which looked very much like the individual that James Smith found recently and photographed. The whole flock flushed and circled and quickly settled back down, but the Thayer's like bird was lost in the shuffle. Also of note were 13 Ring-billed Gulls with lime green wing tags and one Herring Gull with reddish tag, between studying the Slaty and Thayer's like gulls I neglected to take the tag numbers down.

I had the day off and here are a few digi-bin photos I took of visting feeder birds today.

Mouring Dove on the deck rail

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

1 comment:

Larry said...

Cool! I just started to gain a little interest in gulls this year.It started when I went to the Windsor town dump where I was able to see a reported Slaty-backed Gull.-That was a first for CT found by a guy name Nick Bonomo who has the shorebirder blog: