Friday, February 13, 2009


Another superb find at the Windsor Landfill. This 2nd/3rd cycle Slaty-backed Gull was found by Patrick Dugan and Frank Mantlik on Monday and has been seen somewhat frequently throughout the week.

I spent just 90 minutes at the landfill this afternoon and was quite overwhelmed by the huge numbers present. At least 6,000 large gulls were present when I first arrived. I eventually located the Slaty-backed at around 15:10hrs and watched it depart East at 15:15hrs. Plumage wise, it was quite a different beast to the bird found by Nick Bonomo in November 2008 being clearly younger.

It seems pretty incredible that this small inland landfill now has 2 Slaty-backed and 2-3 Thayer's Gulls to its credit, all from the same winter.

Please note that all of these images have been quite strongly affected by late afternoon glare. Conditions were not ideal.

Also at Windsor Landfill today, 1 Glaucous Gull (1st cycle), 1 Kumlien's Gull (1st cycle), 1 uid Kumlien's/Thayer's (1st/2nd cycle) and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull (adult graellsii).

On the way home I spent 45 minutes at the Holyoke (MA) gull roost viewing North from the Rt 116 bridge over the CT River just below the falls. About 1200 gulls had gathered before I decided to leave with c.700 of these being Ring-billed. Most notably, 4 Kumlien's Gulls flew into the roost, down on last weekend's count of 10 birds, although I didn't stay for the late arrivals which has often brought in most of the Kumlien's at this particular site, with a high of 13 Kumlien's Gulls on January 30th. However, eight species of gull in an afternoon in the interior Connecticut River Valley can't be bad.

Other notable birds for the day included a fly-over Common Redpoll on North Whitney Street, Amherst and another visit from a green morph Pine Siskin to our feeders in Amherst.

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