Subject: Slaty-backed Gulls Date: Feb 28 09:11:47 1994 From: Alvaro Patricio Jaramillo - jaramill at sfu.ca
This saturday I had the pleasure of birding the Burns Bog Landfill in Ladner, just south of Vancouver, B.C. along with Rick Toochin, Durrell Kapan and Peter Jones. After several hours of searching we found an adult Slaty-backed Gull in the 10000, or so gulls. Rick and I had seen the Slaty- backed Gull last week in the fields outside of the dump. The bird I saw, and photographed last week, appeared smaller, paler mantled, and with duller leg colouration than the bird in the dump. The bird Rick saw last week had a clean white head, unlike the bird at the dump and the bird I saw last week. The dump bird appears to be the same individual that was there on Dec. 27, 94 and later on in January (seen by Rick, Peter Jones and Rick's brother Mike). If that was impossible to follow, the point is that it appears that there is more than a single Slaty-backed Gull in Vancouver, and it could be as high as three birds!
The Glaucous gull numbers are equally impressive. There was a total of 7 in the dump yesterday and another 6 in the fields outside of the dump, another bird was seen right in Vancouver on Sunday. There may be as many as 14 Glaucous in the area, almost all are in first winter plumage. Western Gulls, pure enough to call as such, are around in numbers similar to Glaucous Gulls.
Are there unusually large numbers of Glaucous Gulls elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, or are we having an odd concentration here? Also, has the Tacoma Slaty-backed been seen this week, or has it moved into our area possibly?