Slaty-backed Gull - Image courtesy of wikimedia

By Russ Koppendrayer

We continued to have new species of migrants being found in Cowlitz County throughout the month of March. They were almost all expected at this time of year although a few were actually a little early. 
The lone exception was a Slaty-backed Gull. This was the first ever record for this species in the county. Found on a sandbar in the Columbia River in the Woodland Bottoms, it was excellently documented both verbally and with photos. Primarily a species found in Asia there seem to be annual records in the state of Washington and it was finally our turn to host one in Cowlitz County. To the chagrin of many it was last photographed in flight as it departed and was only seen by the folks that found it.
Migration will continue to send more species our way as the wave of birds flowing into the area continues through April and May so get out and enjoy.

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