Slaty-backed Gull in San Leandro

Aaron Maizlish


A few minutes ago I received a text message and a back-of-the-camera photo from Noah Arthur. Noah has a Slaty-backed Gull currently at the San Leandro dump, at the end of Davis Street. Noah wanted me to get the word out. The bird appears to be a 2nd spring bird, a different individual than the Slaty-backed Gull that he found there over the winter.

The San Leandro dump (Waste Management, actually) is at the end of Davis Street. The facility is closed to the public, but for the true gull-lovers, you can look through the fence either from the end of Business Center Drive, or alternately from the elevated mound at the Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline to the west. Large numbers of gulls congregate here in the evening, and can be seen from some distance on the roof lines of the buildings. A scope is definitely needed. The most reliable way to spot an extremely rare gull in these conditions is to tag along with Noah Arthur, who has preternatural gull identification skills and can pull out a Slaty-backed Gull from the Western Gulls even at long distances in industrial landscapes.

Good birding,

Aaron Maizlish