Thanks to a timely and much appreciated phone call from Nick Bonomo, my visiting parents and I drove down to the Windsor/Bloomfield landfill to enjoy this fantastic find by Nick. Leaving the house to the site took just fifty minutes, straight down I-91.
On arrival, the bird was out of view for the first twenty minutes or so causing me to keep glancing at my watch and worry about closing time (4pm). At around 2:25 pm I re-located it and then had it view until 3:05pm, along with a relatively small band of very happy birders. At peak, I would say some 5,000 large gulls were present on site at around 2pm but a gradual thinning of birds was evident throughout the afternoon leaving perhaps less than 2,000 by about 3:45pm when we departed.
This Slaty-backed Gull is certainly showing some signs of immaturity, most obviously in the dark bill markings and has me wondering about the age which I'll discuss when I have a little more time. Nick is discussing the age of the bird on his own blog here.
A very cool find indeed that gives me some hope for the forthcoming winter evenings at Turner's Falls.
Slaty-backed Gull - 3rd/4th cycle - The first record in Connecticut.
Slaty-backed and Kumlien's Iceland Gulls flanked by American Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls.
Kumlien's Iceland Gulls - about 4 present at the landfill today.
Lesser Black-backed Gull - adult with primaries still growing.