Laughing Gull - the final update?

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Laughing Gull - the final update?
From: "Trevor Ford" <>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 18:38:45 +1000
The Laughing Gull has not been seen on Bribie Island for ten days now, so presumably has left the area.  If it returns in the future (perhaps with a mate and/or a black head?) I'll send a further posting.  Anyhow, I must say that I've enjoyed the process of finding a local rarity and intend to find another.  Any requests?  My wife has ordered a Spoon-billed Sandpiper.
In the meantime, many thanks to Laurie Knight who directed me towards a decent cup of coffee before the Southport pelagic last Saturday.  And talking of skuas (which he was), I had also mentioned the shape upon the water when it was in front of the boat, without any interest being shown.  I guess everyone was pretty much scattered throughout the boat, inside or out, up or down, so that hearing everything that was being said was a challenge - especially from Laurie who was perched in the crow's nest!
But the South Polar Skuas were interesting.  The first bird seen was thought by some (initially) to be a pale morph but eventually agreed to be intermediate, which I reckon was a good call.  The second bird seen seemed paler, I thought, and wasn't surprised to hear it called a pale morph.  However, Paul Walbridge has stated that it was another intermedite.  So when does a pale intermediate become a dark pale?  Do we call 1% 'pale', 1% 'dark' and the 98% in between 'intermediate'?  Perhaps we had a 30% bird followed by a 10% bird.  (Look at the colour photos in Skuas and Jaegers by Olsen and Larsson.)

Cheers - Trevor Ford.
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