[birding] gulls

Joel Geier clearwater at peak.org
Sun Nov 25 18:04:52 PST 2007


Hi again all,

Having read Doug's description this does seem like a pretty good case
for Slaty-backed Gull.

I'm thinking that if word goes out on the statewide list, traffic could
pretty quickly overwhelm the graces of the landfill company. I'll call
the site manager tomorrow morning to let him know what's up and then
pass on his suggestions for how & where to park etc.

Cheers,
Joel

On Sun, 2007-11-25 at 14:09 -0800, Douglas Robinson wrote:
> The gulls were roosting near the end of Coffin Butte Drive. Turn west
> off 99W onto Coffin Butte Drive north of Adair Village and follow it
> until it dead ends.  About 100-200 yards before it dead ends, there is
> standing water in a grassy field on the south side of the road where
> there has been some land excavation, presumably for some kind of
> housing or something to be built in the future.  The gulls were
> roosting on the mud mounds and drinking the water.  
> 
> When I first arrived, they were all circling around over the dump. I
> estimated 35 birds. Then something spooked them, crows, all the
> blackbirds, etc, out of the dump. The gulls headed west to the field
> and settled down for a while. There were more than 75. At times, one
> to a few of them would leave the roost and head to the dump; some
> returned to roost, others did not.  Here are the totals of what I
> could make out at the roost:
> 
> Mew Gull -- 2 adults
> 
> Ring-billed Gull — 14 (mostly adults, but at least 1 1st-cycle and 1
> 2nd-cycle)
> 
> California Gull — 8 (mostly adults)
> 
> Herring Gull — 20 (8 adults, 1 2nd-cycle, 12 1st-cycle)
> 
> Thayer’s Gull — 6 (5 1st-cycle and 1 adult)
> 
> Western Gull — 1 1st-cycle
> 
> Glaucous-winged Gull — 20 (mostly 1st-cycle and adults)
> 
> Glaucous-winged x Western Gull hybrids — at least 4, probably a couple
> more; one 2nd-cycle bird was very strange and I never settled on an
> identification.
> 
> Slaty-backed Gull — 1 adult; I am pretty darn sure about this bird now
> that I have read through various books to check on some field marks.
> The field marks I did NOT see well were the orbital ring color and
> whether the individual outer primaries had outer webs black and inner
> webs gray. Those details were simply not viewable in the looks I had.
> All the other key field marks were visible. I have summarized most of
> them from my notes here: overall structure of a large gull that was a
> bit slimmer than Western with less bulbous bill; bill dull yellowish
> with reddish gonydeal spot lacking sharply defined borders; heavy
> brownish streaking on head, especially back of head, nape, lower sides
> of neck, lower foreneck; smudgy streaking around eye giving appearance
> of a short lateral streak through eye (Western should have mostly
> clean white head); pale irises; mantle was about the same shade as
> adult Western; broad white scapular crescent; broad tertial crescent
> and trailing edge of secondaries broader than expected for Western;
> white tips to primaries on outer 5 folded primaries; blackish wingtips
> otherwise; importantly, there were obvious white subterminal spots on
> the outermost primary and two of the inner primaries (Western should
> not have these); also importantly, when the bird was flying back to
> the dump, I could see the underwings well and the underprimaries were
> mostly gray not black, except for a subterminal narrow blackish band
> on outermost primaries (Western should be broadly blackish on outer
> third or so of underprimaries); legs were also very pink.    I will do
> some more reading to make sure these details are sufficient for
> eliminating other possibilities, although I recognize that there are
> plenty of gull snobs out there who will never believe a single-
> observer record of any unusual gull without lots of pictures.  Let
> them be snobs.
> 
> I hope the birds develop a pattern of foraging and then roosting at
> end of Coffin Butte Drive so we can all study them more and get some
> photos.
> 
> Doug
> 
> 
> On 11/25/07 12:50 PM, "Jamie S." <woodpecker97330 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> 
>         Rich & Doug,
>         
>         Can you provide more info on exactly where this spot is that
>         gulls were observed on the ground near (at?) the landfill?  I
>         thought Joe said something about west of the landfill?
>         
>         Jamie
>         
>         rich armstrong <richarmstrong at comcast.net> wrote:
>                       
>                 1. 6 of us were out at the dump from 1030-1130. there
>                 were  about 40 gulls including HERRING (i forgot that
>                 below), 1 1st winter WESTERN.  
>                 
>                 2. we did NOT see any dark-backed gull at  all.
>                 
>                 3. we did NOT see any mew gulls
>                 
>                 4. we probably saw a 1st winter thayer's gull, but
>                 just in  flight so can't be sure.
>                 
>                 5. we did NOT see even 1 gull on the ground - none
>                 were  resting where doug had them.
>                 
>                 6. it is certainly a place worth checking often as
>                 there  will be abundant food and decent resting places
>                 for gulls.
>                 
>                 7. i plan to go out tomorrow.
>                 
>                 Rich Armstrong
>                 541-753-1978
>                  
>                 ----- Original Message -----  
>                 From: rich  armstrong
>                 <mailto:richarmstrong at comcast.net>  
>                  
>                 To: corvbird <mailto:list at midvalleybirding.org>  
>                  
>                 Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2007 10:07 AM
>                  
>                 Subject: [birding] gulls!!!
>                  
>                 
>                  
>                 doug robinson is out at the dump  right now on coffin
>                  butte road off 99 about 9 miles north of corvallis.
>                 
>                 he has MEW, THAYER'S, WESTERN, GLAUCOUS-WINGED,  RING-
>                 BILLED, CALIFORNIA, and he thinks 1 might be a 
>                 
>                   possible maybe SLATY-BACKED  GULL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>                 
>                 Rich Armstrong
>                 541-753-1978
>                 
>                  
>                 
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