Re: Photos of Slaty-backed Gull

Aaron Maizlish

Fantastic photos Alvaro!  Thanks for the ID lesson, as always. 

Roy Carlson and I were able to enjoy prolonged views of the gull from up on the trail looking across the creek mouth. No need to head down to the beach. There are about 600-800 birds in the flock, and the Slaty-backed is toward the south end, perhaps 50 birds from the end of the flock.  He spent much of the time with his head tucked in and was a bit less excitable than the other, mostly hybrid, gulls.  Did not fly in the 40 minutes I observed him, and only stretched his wings twice.  

A long overdue lifebird for me. It’s great to see a full adult. 

Aaron Maizlish 

On Jan 14, 2020, at 1:25 PM, Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao@...> wrote:

Hello all,

    I got a message that Aaron Maizlish found the bird a few minutes ago. So it is still there.

Here are some photos:

   Visible from the Venice Beach parking lot overlook of the mouth of Frenchman’s Creek. There is a big pond at the creek mouth all the way up Pilarcitos Creek, so few people were on the beach as some of the access points are not available. So hopefully it will not get spooked.

   It is like a Western Gull, an adult, with pink legs and a dark back. However the back is darker. It has pale eyes with some brown flecks and some crisp streaking on the head, unlike Western. The legs are brighter almost bubblegum pink. The outer primary has an entirely white tip, not just a white mirror. Also there is a mirror on p9, the next primary in from the outermost. On Western, there is one mirror on the outer one and it does not reach to the tip. Inside of this there are white tongue tips, or half moon shaped bits on primaries where the black meets the slaty gray. They form a series of pale “spots” that creep out along the open wing creating what has been termed the “string of pearls.” It has been a while since a classic, adult Slaty-backed Gull has been out on the beach. So it was a nice one to see!




Alvaro Jaramillo



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