Slaty-backed Gull near Pembroke

Christina Lewis hagenius at
Thu Nov 27 19:59:09 EST 2003

Hello Ontbirds people,

Today (Nov. 27), Bob Bracken & Bob Cermak were able to view the bird at the
dump along County Rd. 56 north of Eganville/south of Pembroke, from approx.
12:00 until 1:15 PM. (Thanks to Chris Michener's information, research &

According to info from "the Bob's" today, the bird appears to be in
transitional plumage (age & plumage sequence unknown but approaching 2nd
winter), with a conspicuously dark & contrasting mantle vs. pale creamy
secondary wing coverts.  Primaries dark, vent white. Extensive blotchy dark
feathering on the head & breast with an obvious white area in the centre of
the breast. Bill completely dark up to the base. Dark eyes.  It also appears
to be a very heavy-set bird vs.the numerous adjacent Herring Gulls. The
possibility of hybrids & other species were considered, but according to the
observers it looks excellent for Slaty-backed.

NOTE****This is just a "heads-up" for anyone who wants to see this gull &
draw their own conclusions...a great opportunity to study a very interesting
gull (haven't seen the beastie yet myself, so please don't shoot the
messenger!)...also, the people at the dump were apparently very friendly &
accommodating...please follow the instructions below......

Chris Lewis
hagenius at

INSTRUCTIONS & DIRECTIONS (courtesy of Chris Michener):

If you decide on the trek, call ahead (613-735-7537) to the Ottawa Valley
Waste Recovery Centre and ask for Elizabeth.  She has some rules and wants
everyone to check in at the entry office.  You shouldn't leave your car
unless you are wearing certified safety boots.  Please follow the rules as
we don't want the birding experience at this site ruined for us.  It is also
a good idea to stay in your car and use it as a blind, driving near the
gulls very slowly.  Stay out of the way of the bulldozer unless you like
getting flattened.  Scope from the window, although binoculars are sometimes
enough.  Other gulls at the landfill are HEGU, GBBG, RBGU (1 seen) and
THAYER'S GULL (one 1st winter).

To get to the landfill, drive north of Eganville staying on Hwy 41 for about
14 km., then turn left onto B-Line Rd.  Go about 2 km. up the Line
travelling around a curve to the left and at the end of the curve turn left
onto County Rd 56, also called Woito Station Road.  The landfill is on your
right about 3 km. down Cty Rd 56.  When arriving at the weigh scale, you
wait for the green light and then drive up on the scales to check in. It's a
good opportunity to see how much your vehicle weighs, too.  The weight is
above the window.  The best time to visit is between 11 AM and 1 PM.

Good Luck,
Chris Michener
Golden Lake
cmichener at

PS. Original posting was on Nov 24.

Pembroke Area Field Naturalists: cmichener at

"Christina Lewis" <hagenius at>

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