[Mich-listers] Slaty-backed Gull - Republic Landfill - Bay County

soehnelj soehnelj at gmail.com
Wed Dec 14 16:28:15 EST 2011

Dan Duso found a third year/adult Slaty-backed Gull at the Republic
Landfill off M-13, north of Pinconning on Monday, December 12th, re-found
it yesterday, December 13th with Myles Willard, and was subsequently
observed this morning, Dec. 14th by Karl Overman, Paul (can't remember last
name) Dan Duso, and myself.  Dan sent me compelling photos that he took of
frontal shots taken Monday, and then side profile shots taken yesterday.

The bird was observed by Karl and Paul earlier in the morning then by Dan
and I from roughly 1100 to 1130.  All of the gulls then flew up, seemingly
unprovoked, and began flying to the east.  They slowly trickled back but
the Slaty-backed Gull did not return during the additional hour and a half
that we stayed there.  The bird was observed on Monday and Tuesday by Dan
and Myles in the afternoon so patience may be required.  Of course, birders
know about patience.......

The Republic Landfill is located off M-13, a little more than three miles
north of Pinconning, just north of Whitefeather Rd.  Turn right (east) onto
the landfill drive for a half mile and park at the building to let them
know you're there to look for the rare gull.  You may have to sign in but
it hasn't been required up to this point.  Proceed north to the base of the
landfill and turn left up the hill and continue to veer to the right.
You'll see the active dumping to your left below the orange snow fence.
Continue up to the end of the snow fence and look down on the black-tarped
berm where the roosting gulls set.  They sometimes roost on the grassy
slope to your right as you drive up.  Some also roost on the south side of
the active dump site.

Let's all be mindful of common courtesy when birding at this landfill.  The
owners have just recently been more lenient in allowing local birders
access to the landfill so be on your best behavior while there so we may
all have future birding opportunities at this great gull location.  Park
off to the side of the 'road' for potential traffic to go by.  Carpool with
other birders when possible to reduce the number of vehicles.  Also, the
road up the hill can be be VERY muddy so be prepared and use extreme
caution when driving up the hill and turning around to go back down.

Also today, December 14th, Dan and I observed at least eight Glaucous Gulls
of various ages, a first winter Iceland Gull, a first winter Lesser
Black-backed Gull, and three Great Black-backed Gulls.  There were also
500+ Herring Gulls and a handful of Ring-billed Gulls.

Good Gulling!

Joe Soehnel
*Saginaw Bay Area Birding! <http://www.saginawbaybirding.org/>*

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