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Slaty-backed Gulls

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  • scre@aol.com
    This morning Ryan Terrill and I stopped at HMB to do some gulling. As luck had it we arrived to find that Todd McGrath had found an adult SLATY-BACKED GULL
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 6, 2006
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      This morning Ryan Terrill and I stopped at HMB to do some gulling. As luck
      had it we arrived to find that Todd McGrath had found an adult SLATY-BACKED
      GULL and was being viewed by Mike San Miguel and Dan Singer, unfortunately it
      took off pretty quick though Ryan got flight shots, we continued gulling and I
      spotted a "NELSON's" GULL (hadn't seen it or seen photos of it before) also
      spotted 2 GLAUCOUS GULLS, a white one with just some brown flecking and
      another darker nicely patterned bird. Later I found one of the previously found
      1st Cycle SLATY-BACKED GULLs and was seen by all. After Mike and Todd had
      left Dan Singer refound the adult SLATY-BACKED GULL. This adult has a normal
      adult bill, and clean head. Also a rather bright orbital ring. Good Luck all

      David Vander Pluym
      Santa Cruz, Ca


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    • scre@aol.com
      Forgot to mention there was a young RING-BILLED GULL in the gull flock as well, which is rare locally. Anyone know how many records for Half Moon Bay cause
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 6, 2006
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        Forgot to mention there was a young RING-BILLED GULL in the gull flock as
        well, which is rare locally. Anyone know how many records for Half Moon Bay
        cause we were joking that there could be more records of Slaty-backed Gull then
        Ring-billed for this location.

        David Vander Pluym


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      • Ruth Rudesill
        Today Betty Groce and I may have hit for the cycle on Slaty-backed gulls! These were at the usual spot at Venice State Beach just north of Half Moon Bay off
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 9, 2006
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          Today Betty Groce and I may have "hit for the cycle" on Slaty-backed gulls! These were at the usual spot at Venice State Beach just north of Half Moon Bay off Hwy 1. It was windy but the wind was coming from the southeast, and the light was excellent.

          There were thousands of gulls on the beach and bathing in the creek.

          After looking through about 1500 gulls, I spotted an adult and less than an hour later spotted a 3rd cycle bird. We continued to scope and Betty spotted an interesting 1st cycle bird on the crest of dune that very well could have been a Slaty-backed gull- it looked different than the many 1st year Westerns around it- a little larger, different structure, deeper chested, lighter plumage on head,neck - maybe?

          Then a large flock was stirred up by hikers down the beach and we got some new birds landing in front of us. Betty spotted a different adult in the creek - this one had less head streaking than the one we saw earlier. And incredibily, a few birds away in the creek was a 2nd cycle bird!

          So we had 2 adults, 1 2nd cycle, 1 3rd cycle and maybe a 1st cycle. We also had a strange gull that looked like a dark backed Herring Gull, long bill and pink legs. No Glaucous Gulls but we saw a very light Glaucous -winged type bird, all dark bill and very lightly patterned primaries - maybe a hybrid?

          Good Birding,
          Ruth Rudesill

          Kenwood CA




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        • Dan Singer
          Hi birders, I saw two and possibly three Slaty-backed Gulls today at Venice Beach in Half Moon Bay. There were two different second cycle birds present off and
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 17, 2007
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            Hi birders,



            I saw two and possibly three Slaty-backed Gulls today at Venice Beach in
            Half Moon Bay. There were two different second cycle birds present off and
            on between noon and 2:30pm. The first one was the same individual found by
            Ron Thorn last week. It had a mostly pink bill with a dark tip and whitish
            wing coverts. The second bird had a mostly dark bill with just a small
            amount of paling towards the base. It had paler eyes than the other bird and
            showed considerably more streaking on the head and neck and more shading
            around the eye. The coverts were also bleached whitish. The possible
            first-cycle bird was only seen for 15-20 minutes and was loafing a ways
            south of the parking lot. This bird was very pale except for brown
            primaries, secondaries and tail. This is the same bird seen here on Friday,
            9 March by Todd Easterla, Scott Terrill, Ken Rosenberg, Brian Sullivan and
            myself. I don't remember who found it then, though it wasn't me. The
            dark-billed second-cycle gull may or may not be one seen earlier in the
            winter. Hopefully a photo review will help shed light on this.



            Dan Singer

            Pacifica, CA



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