[Tweeters] Possible SLATY-BACKED GULL Sept 7 - Tacoma

Carol & Lynn Schulz carol.schulz50 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 7 18:42:11 PDT 2013

Hello Tweeters:
There is a possible SLATY-BACKED GULL that was at the Gog-le-hi-te Wetland in Tacoma today, Sat, Sept 7. Last year, Sept 18, 2012 my sister and I were at the Gog, and saw the probable bird that was later ID'd as a Slaty-backed Gull. I reported it to Tweeters at that time as an unidentified gull w/ extremely dark mantle and primaries. Last year we saw it on the roof of one of the bldgs. across Lincoln Ave from the Gog. Today, I saw an extremely dark-mantled gull in the first pond. At 11:00am I walked out on the road that goes to the river from the parking lot. It was almost low tide. Down in the pond in the grasses and wet spots, was the gull walking around, often back into tall grass. It stayed away from the Gl-winged Gulls.
Here is a description of the bird:
Very dark mantle and primaries. Same size as a nearby Gl-winged Gull. No
mottling on head, so no distinctive "mascara". The head was entirely white. Bill was straight, thin,
pale yellow, w/ red-orange gonydial spot. Not much of a gonys angle. Legs
are pink, not rosy. Long thick neck, and large breast. Broad white tertial
crescent. Eye appeared dark to me. (It should have been light in color per the books.) Pink
orbital ring.
I observed the bird as it moved around, but when it finally flew a short
distance, I couldn't observe the wing pattern well. 20 minutes later it
flew off toward the back pond, but again I couldn't see the wing tip pattern
well enough for an ID.
When I walked to the back pond the bird wasn't back there any more. The bird looks a
lot like the photos Mike Charest took last year of a Slaty-backed Gull Oct 8, 2012. (Except for
dark-appearing eye this year.) Mike posted that msg to Tweeters on Oct 9.
Gog-le-hi-te is in Tacoma, WA. Get off at the Portland Ave. exit in Tacoma. Go north (toward the bay) to Lincoln Ave. and make a right (east) at the light. After crossing the river the Gog-le-hi-te Marsh is on the south (right). There is a small parking lot a little further. The rest of the area is industrial. You can also walk back to a second pond which is almost under the hwy 509 overpass. The "ponds" are actually inlets from the Puyallup River and are tidally influenced.
I hope someone sees this bird and can get a photo.
Yours, Carol Schulz
Des Moines, WA

More information about the Tweeters mailing list