Saturday, February 28, 2009
Slaty-backed Gull in Davis, CA!
On Friday, February 27, Todd Easterla and John Sterling reported a SLATY-BACKED GULL at the Davis Oxidation Ponds. This year has been fantastic for gulls at this site and the adjacent Yolo County Dump. As luck would have it I had Saturday off and headed over as soon as I was able. After scanning the available gull groups and finding 2 first winter GLAUCOUS GULLS, several THAYER'S, GLAUCOUS-WINGED, HERRING, CALIFORNIA, and RING-BILLED GULLS (and an apparent "KUMLIEN'S" GULL) someone had alerted another birder that they had refound the Slaty-backed in a field about a mile away.
I arrived to a decent sized flock of gulls and almost immediately came across a dark backed gull in front of all the others. My excitement quickly subsided as I realized I was looking at an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL and not the Slaty-backed. This is only the second Lesser Black-backed I've seen in California and was still excited to see it but I thought it was the bird people were calling the Slaty-backed. Soon, tough, I was on the SLATY-BACKED GULL and had moderate looks at quite a distance. The following digiscoped shots were all I could get.
Lesser Black-backed Gull
"Kumlien's" Gull? Comments welcome on this one! The primaries look good and the tertials are ok but the bill seems too big to me. What do you think?
at 5:44 PM