[Tweeters] Slaty-backed Gull at Gene Coulon Park, Renton

Matt Dufort zeledonia at gmail.com
Mon Jan 15 22:39:32 PST 2007

Hi Tweeters,

I lucked out and stumbed into the adult Slaty-backed Gull this afternoon in
the same location described by Bill Boyington, on the log booms at Gene
Coulon Park in Renton. In addition to all the normal field marks for this
species, this individual had an injured left leg, so I’m fairly sure it’s
the same bird first found a few weeks ago at the Cedar River mouth.

I had stopped earlier at the Cedar River mouth to scan the gulls coming in
to bathe and roost on the gravel bars. While scoping other birds on Lake
Washington, I noticed a dark-mantled gull on the log booms over by Gene
Coulon Park. I studied it for a few minutes, then drove around to Gene
Coulon Park and quickly re-found it at the south end of the log booms. I
watched it from about 4:35 until 5:15, when it flew off to the west towards
the Boeing buildings and the mouth of the Cedar River. While I was there, a
steady stream of gulls flowed in from the south, landing on the log booms
and surrounding water. Their numbers grew from about 1000 when I arrived to
closer to 3000 when I left. The vast majority were “pure” Glaucous-winged
Gulls, followed by Glaucous-winged / Western hybrids with only a few
Herring, Thayer’s, and Westerns mixed in. I didn’t spend too much time
scanning the other gulls, as I was mostly focused on the Slaty-back, but the
numbers of non-Glaucous-wings were much lower than what I’ve seen in other
recent visits to the area. I also saw an adult Bald Eagle plucking feathers
from a still-twitching Glaucous-winged / Western Gull hybrid it had just

Earlier in the afternoon, I stopped by the Kent Ponds. No sign of the
Red-shouldered Hawk, but I did have a nice close fly-by of 5 Trumpeter

Good birding,

Matt Dufort


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