This afternoon (Easter Monday) I was surprised to find a Laughing Gull at
Bribie Island, SEQ (some 70 km north of Brisbane). Surprised because,
although I've always hoped for an interesting gull to appear on the island,
I thought it would most likely be a Kelp Gull. The bird appears to be a
second winter bird attaining some second summer plumage characteristics.
Brief description: At rest - all dark grey mantle and wings, with black
primaries, separated by a white bar. Two primaries were tipped white, plus
a less noticeable white tip at the end of the folded wing. Also the
semblance of a second whitish wing bar and a whitish suffusion in the carpal
area. Smudgy grey on ear coverts, continuing onto and down the nape.
Otherwise a whitish head with a pure white forehead. Greyish flanks,
lessening in intensity on underparts, although almost a necklaced effect was
apparent between this lighter grey and the white throat. Large black bill
and blackish legs. Seemed slightly smaller than nearby Silver Gulls
although perhaps a little bulkier. In flight - dark grey mantle suffused
continuously into black outer primaries. Noticeable white trailing edge to
wings, extending from the secondaries to the inner primaries. Noticeable
blackish primaries on underwing. White tail.
The bird was present from 3 pm until almost dusk, seen by myself and my wife
Kym (who hopefully will have a photograph or two) and later Frank Bigg who I
disturbed from his Easter relaxations. It spent almost all of its time
between the Bongaree jetty - by Scoopy's cafe (great steak & egg
breakfasts) - and the beach to the immediate south. It was settled on the
beach some 100 metres south from the jetty when we left it.
To reach the area, turn right after crossing the bridge to Bribie Island
(this involves going further on to a roundabout and doubling back). Then
travel a couple of kilometres alongside Pumicestone Passage before reaching
the car park at Scoopy's and the Bongaree jetty.
I will revisit the area first thing tomorrow and post an update to
birding-aus. Please note that as I don't currently subscribe to
birding-aus, I would appreciate being copied on any communication regarding
Many thanks - Trevor Ford.
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