[Tweeters] Probably not: Re: Apparent Slaty-backed Gull @ Gene Coulon Park, Renton King Co. Sun 3 Jan

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 4 18:11:27 PST 2021

Hi all -
Following up on yesterday’s report of a possible Slaty-backed Gull in Renton King Co.
Patrick Van Thull got clearer shots of what is likely the same bird yesterday and in his photo the id looks wrong for Slaty-backed. In his pix, the bill is much brighter than what we noticed and than what shows up in my [much less clear] photos.

Assuming he was taking pix of the same dark-backed bird, I’d say Slaty-backed is off the menu. There’s a slight chance we were looking at different birds [same time, but not standing by each other] - if so, maybe a Slaty-backed will yet turn up there. But I think it is more likely he was on the same bird and better captured the bill color.

That’s my latest take, at least!


Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

> On Jan 3, 2021, at 5:26 PM, Matt Bartels <mattxyz at earthlink.net> wrote:


> Hi Tweets

> While looking in vain for the Glaucous Gull this afternoon, we came across what appeared to be an adult Slaty-backed Gull instead.

> Bobbie & Curtis Pearson were the first to notice the bird quite a ways north along the log booms off Gene Coulon Park in Renton.

> The bird was quite a distance away, and the overcast skies lends some tentativeness to the id.


> Overall the color was solid for Slaty-backed, dark, but slate-gray rather than the dark of a Western or near-Western Olympic. Legs pink. Nice smudging through the eye area. Bill seemed narrower/straighter than I’d expect on an Olympic-type.

> The gulls eventually lifted off and we lost track of the bird. Would love to see the spread wing clearly to be sure.


> A few of my crappy digiscope pix are available at the link below, but it would definitely be great for others to get better shots of this one if it can be relocated in the coming days. Haven’t had a SBGU in King Co since 2013, I believe.


> https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1tZpArZ40nEj-IGy8iRr37iPjd97020qI?usp=sharing <https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1tZpArZ40nEj-IGy8iRr37iPjd97020qI?usp=sharing>

> [opinions welcome, but better photos desired for sure]


> Also around the area, Ed Newbold got us on a nice Eared Grebe hanging close to the Ivars walkway.


> Good 2021 birding,


> Matt Bartels

> Seattle, WA

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