Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Aug 26 (Day 238) - Urban birding for Slaty-backed gull

Posting from McDonalds. Internet very slow (its usually very good). Not going to add normal photos and commentary.

The story of today was the great Slaty-backed gull hunt. I left Seattle after the morning rush hour and headed south to Tacoma to spend the afternoon searching for the gull. I had some very good intelligence, and I thought I would have at least a decent shot at finding the bird. It has been recently observed at various locations in and around the Port of Tacoma. Aesthetically, this area leaves a bit to be desired, but based on the abundance of Glaucous-winged gulls, it is clearly a place that attracts Larids (gulls). I spent the afternoon bouncing around a number of supposedly productive areas. I had some help from local birder Mike Charest who has actually seen the bird several times in the last week. He is the one who initially reported the bird a few days ago. He lives very close by and birds this area regularly. This bird has apparently spent the last 3 winters in the port, but based up some new revelations, locals are starting to consider the possibility that the bird resides permanently in area and does not migrate back to Siberia in the summer as might be predicted.

Port view. Bird is sometimes seen in this channel.

Despite all of this information and much searching, I was not able to find the bird today. This is one of those birds I will have to grind out. There isn’t much species diversity at the port, and it is less then scenic. I am going to make at least one more run at this bird, but exactly how it will shake out in the context of the potential Rainier run and/or run to the Washington Coast has yet to be determined. 

The bike ran great today, so the tune-up certainly was well-worth the time and money yesterday.

43 plus 5 of birding in port for 48 total miles

1 comment:

  1. Most of the Glaucous-winged type gulls in Tacoma this time of year are actually hybrids with Western Gull.