23rd February – Possible Slaty-backed Gull (?), Hartford County, CT

Happy Birding!

Naturescape Images

A small band of CT birders visited the Windsor landfill to look for a couple of potentially “good” gulls. Although gull numbers were low, there was a nice 2nd-cycle Kumlien’s Gull and the putative Slaty-backed “thingy” amongst them. Found initially by local birder Mark Szantyr, it had attracted attention during the week. Although Nick and I looked at it, we seemed suitably not bowled over since it seemed duller and more Herring Gull-like in certain lights and poses. However, there were definitely some good Slaty-backed traits, but the identification issue is clouded by the unfamiliarity with this taxon, especially in this plumage. When reviewing the images later, Nick and I became a little more convinced about it looking more Slaty-backed-like than initially thought. In some pictures, there seems to be a hint of a “string of pearls” on the inner primaries and are those rear scapulars good for Slaty-backed?. Comments…

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