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Took a LONG day trip today to look for the Slaty-Back Gull in IA and did find it.  Watched it from 2:20-3:00.  It was over on the east side in a cove with the only vantage point being a little pullout in front of some houses.  Based on previous postings, I was looking on the west side and focused on the south end where the only gulls visible were congregated on the ice.  Actually got to the lake around 11:45 and a few trips back and forth from all possible viewpoints produced no gull.  On one pass along the east side, I went as far as the entrance sign to the park and turned around as in front of me was a subdivision.  While back on the west side at a pullout, a couple of rangers stopped by and told me it was on the other side by the houses.  Headed back to the east and made a left turn to the houses and at the only pullout saw it flying away.  Headed toward the golf course as it did land north in that area, but no more pull outs to see the lake.  Went back to the original
 pullout and re-found it on the water in the cove.  If was often feeding, harassing the Ring-Billed Gulls and floating with rafts of Common Goldeneye.  Saw it fly often but only a short distance to the next fish to catch or RB Gull to harass.  Looked like the bully of the lake.  Really enjoyed watching its flight compared to the Ring Bills.
   
  To get to the cove, there probably is a more direct way from the main streets than I will describe as I saw heavy traffic where I turned around, but don't know street names and such, so will give directions that I took once in the park.  After I entered the park, and went right counter clockwise around the most of the lake.  At the entrance sign the road is called E Manawa DR and right past the entrance sign for the park is Navajo road on the right.  Do not take that.  Instead, continue straight and the other part of Navajo Road will be on the left.  Turn there and not far will be a single pullout where you can scan the cove and a good part of the lake.  This was the only place the gull could be seen while I was there.
   
  I do not has access to the IA list-serve.  If anyone does and feels this will help, please forward.
   
  Many, many thanks to the rangers that stopped and and told me where it was.  Also many thanks to whoever decided to build the pullout.  How often have we seen lakes with so much potential for birding and they are surrounded by houses with no public access or views of portions of the lake? Both sides of the lake had houses that could have been put right up to the edge, but instead the road was between the houses and the lake.  There were a few that on the lake, but most if not all of the lake could be seen.
   
  Steve Griffaw
  St Charles MO
  [log in to unmask]

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