Thursday, January 10, 2008

Slaty-backed Gull, Cape Ann, MA - 01/10

(right most bird)

My third visit to Cape Ann in less than three weeks and finally one of the adult Slaty-backed Gulls (first found by David Sibley on December 23rd) shows up at Niles Pond whilst I'm there! Just when I was settling down to enjoy it, the whole flock (less than 300 birds) spooked for some unknown reason and that was that. About half of them came back to rest on the ice but the Slaty-backed wasn't one of them. I had him in view for just six short minutes. Despite regular attempts to get away, I remained to 'glued' to Niles Pond for the rest of the day with some compelling gulling keeping occupied for about six hours!

Interestingly this bird doesn't look as dark or as heavily blotched as this bird in Phil Brown's superb shots from the same site on December 26th. However, my views were distant and I'd like better views before trying to work out which individual it was today.
The digiscopes are distant and poor, but a Slaty-backed it is.



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