Strange gull continued
"Jo Wieneke" <>
Wed, 17 Jul 96 00:57:17 UT
I am now back in civilisation (via Jo Wieneke's computer in Townsville) so can
report more fully on my record of 3 July in Cairns.
I picked up a group of ultra-keen birders from Taiwan at the airport at 5.15am
that morning, and dragged them from the airport car-park trying to see Brown
Honeyeaters in the dark. We finally got them to breakfast at the Beach House
Restaurant (at the Pier) at 8.00 am - and they instantly set up a forest of
telescopes to look at ibises, spoonbills and pelicans through the picture
windows of the restaurant. One of them called out - "come and look at this" -
and I nearly choked on my Weeties! Gull in view sitting around 60m away, but
viewed with first-class optics in good light. An excellent view as below:-
Gull with general size, shape and appearance of a sub-adult Silver Gull. Wings
and body colour similar to adult SG, but with brown speckling on the wing
coverts.Outer primaries unmarked black. Main feature was bright yellow bill
(plain, no markings). Legs were dark red and eye dark. My partner Christine
noted a darker line through the eye which extended backwards, and (possibly) a
little forward of the eye. She also noted a different stance to the Siver
Gull, but could not define the difference. The bird was gone next time we
I phoned John Crowhurst, who has been keeping an eye out for the bird ever
since, without luck.
Any ideas? Red-legged Kittiwake??
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