Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A little more Slaty

Slaty-backed Gull - Windsor Landfill, CT. Nov 28th. Thought to be fourth-cycle. Potentially the first state record.

This fourth cycle Slaty-backed Gull at Windsor in Connecticut inspired much discussion on the ID-Frontiers listserve, especially concerning the bird's back color. By coincidence, the Ujiharas have just posted more fabulous shots of Slaty-backed Gulls on their wonderful Japanese Gull-site. They include this amazing image set of the same bird taken within a two minute period and have not made any adjustments to the images regarding brightness or contrast - the images are rather revealing. Enjoy!

On the same theme, here's an earlier post that I made on Slaty-backed Gull upperpart tones;


Tom Pirro said...

An excellent example of why ANY (digital or film) photograph must be "used" with caution when assessing subtle shades of gray, or any other color for that matter. Most birders know the slightest change in the bird's angle to the sun and/or viewer will change the precieved shade of gray (color) and quite dramantically at times. The opinions of the "desk jockeys", should be taken with a grain of salt while the "on sight observer(s)" should take carefull notes.
Hey, I got "your" Cackling Goose and 3 1st cycle Iceland Gulls at Barton's Cove on Sunday.

Thanks for the instructive link.

James P. Smith said...

Hey Tom,

Nice to hear from you and thanks for your comments. I really enjoy the Ujiharas gull site and the care with which they approach gull identification.

Great to see that you found the Iceland Gulls and the Cackling Goose at Turner's Falls on Sunday. Just out of interest, was the Cackler on the power canal or on the cove? This may seem odd, but I've never seen a Cackler on Barton Cove, they've always been down on the power canal.

Yesterday evening, an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull and 3 Kumlien's Iceland Gulls roosted on the cove again which's been the norm for the last couple of weeks.