Date: 2/23/18 3:15 pm
From: Doug Hitchcox <dhitchcox...>
Subject: [Maine-birds] SLATY-BACKED GULL - Augusta, 2/23
This afternoon I got to join a group of folks that work for City of Augusta and to look at making the Hatch Hill Landfill more accessible to birders. This location has become increasingly popular, especially for eagle photographers, so we’ll be working on a new parking area for birders and a designated birding space.

While birding wasn’t the primary purpose of the visit, I’m relieved I brought my camera along because as we walked around the fence I noticed an odd looking dark-mantled gull flying over the active section of the landfill. 16 seconds and 40 frames later I lost the gull but thought the photos looked good for Slaty-backed. My apologies for not posting from the field but I wasn’t 100% at the time; I stayed until close (4PM) and wasn’t able to relocated the bird although the birds were especially flighty. Here is my eBird list with some of the photos:

***Accessing the Landfill***
First, the landfill is only open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8:00AM to 4:00PM. Do not enter the landfill outside of these hours.
You must sign in at the booth before the scales as you enter. It would be good to double-check with them on where to park, generally there is space “out of the way” just past the recycling area on the right but they had us move up towards the brush piles to the left later in the day.
DO NOT ENTER THE GATED AREA. Birders are welcome to bird up to the fence but should not enter the gated area, even if there is not equipment being used at the time. Because of how the trash is currently stacked, best viewing was from the fence on the western (northwestern) side of the active area.
Also, no smoking is allowed… You might blow the whole place up and scare the bird away.
My best advice is use common sense. Be nice to the staff. I’m thrilled they are looking into making this a more birder-friendly location so let's not ruin it before we get that chance.

Good birding,

Doug Hitchcox
Staff Naturalist
Maine Audubon
207-781-2330 x237

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