Sabine's Gull, Scarborough (Redcliffe, QLD)

To: "'Peter Ewin'" <>, "'robert morris'" <>, <>
Subject: Sabine's Gull, Scarborough (Redcliffe, QLD)
From: "Andrew Stafford" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 00:04:18 +1000

As indicated in the header, Scarborough is at the northern end of the
Redcliffe Peninsula.

As Robert has pointed out, unless the bird is located again it could be
anywhere. It's much more pelagic than most gulls and it doesn't surprise me
that this observation was a "fly-past".


From: Peter Ewin  
Sent: Monday, 17 March 2008 9:01 PM
To: robert morris; Andrew Stafford; 
Subject: Sabine's Gull, Scarborough (Redcliffe, QLD)

A quick question from a non-Qld birder. Where is the Scarborough you are
talking about exactly? I thought it was on the Gold Coast (where thre is a
shopping centre Scarborough Fair), but it has been said at Scarborough
Harbour near Redcliffe (the other side of Brisbane). Since you left
Redcliffe in the title above I am assuming the latter - just wanted clear
things up in my own head.

> From: 
> To: ; 
> Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 09:57:27 +0000
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Sabine's Gull, Scarborough (Redcliffe, QLD)
> Hi
> Sorry for the silence from my end, while people have been trying to get
info on this sighting. I've had a difficult day getting too and from work as
my car was written-off 10 mins after I got off the Southport Pelagic on
Saturday afternoon when a big 4WD and boat ploughed into the back of me (as
Paul Walbridge and others can confirm!!)
> This is (was) a genuine observation. It's one of those species we (Poms)
see regularly particulalry in the SW of the UK in August-Sept. I have seen a
lot going back to the 70s! I would have made more of an effort to report it
earlier had it not been for the fact that it didn't stop (I was hoping it
would drop in with the roosting Silver Gulls and Terns) but it just carried
on going beyond Drury Point and out into Morton Bay towards the port. They
rarely stop in the UK with other gulls when they are passing along the
coast. Also I didn't have my mobile phone with me so I couldn't contact
local birders immediately. 
> My honest obsevations were: it was approximately 50m off-shore on a rising
tide. I was probably c. 30-40m from the shore. The winds onshore were
reasonable strong (30-35kph). I noticed a small gull which had an almost
tern like 'light' flight coming towards me from N to S with a black
(looking) head. I nearly fell off the seat and raised my bins. Those of you
who have seen Sabine's know the head is a very dark ashy grey but in bright
light the hood looks more or less black, and in such conditions you can't
see the black border where the hood meets the white neck feathers unless it
is fluttering around you or sitting on the beach! The wing pattern was
immediately striking with a black wedge of outer primaries, a white triangle
of inner primaries and secondaries and a grey mantle and coverts. The tail
was white. They are simply unmistakeable.
> The bird flew reasonable direct and low across the water but did briefly
lift and interact with a couple of Silver gulls which were clearly larger
than it. It then carried going in a pretty direct way and fairly low I
assume due to the wind.
> I didn't see the yellow tip to the bill (again those of you who have seen
Sabine's will know that this is not easy to see in bright light against a
bright sea when a bird is flying) and I didn't notice white tips to the
primaries (the same comment applies). The eye / eye-ring weren't
discernable. I was using 10x40 Leicas.
> I reported it so others could go and look for it in case it hangs around.
They occasionally do and I have seen quite a few on London Reservoirs
following SW gales in the UK. That said they are a very pelagic gull and it
may well just bugger off out to sea. I will report the sighting in a genuine
way (who to?) but I am completely unconcerned whether it is accepted or not.
I'm not in the slightest bit interested in Aus listing (I only keep a world
list) and my lifers at Sundown (Turquoise Parrots, Diamond Firetails and
Fuscous Honeyeater) the previous weekend and the views of Tahiti Petrel and
White-necked Petrel on Saturday were far more interesting to me personally!
> cheers
> Rob Morris Brisbane, Australia > From: > To:
> Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 17:14:39 +1000> Subject:
[Birding-Aus] Sabine's Gull, Scarborough (Redcliffe, QLD)> > Hi all,> > Made
it out to the Redcliffe area this afternoon - work commitments> prevented me
going earlier - to look for the Sabine's Gull. No Tony, it is> not a furphy,
the observer concerned has seen hundreds of them and it's in> full breeding
nick. If you've seen a Sabine's before you'll know they're> unmistakeable
even in non-breeding plumage.> > Unfortunately, I was unable to verify it
myself, despite checking every> group of gulls I could find between
Scarborough Boat Harbour and Clontarf.> Basically it could be anywhere in
Moreton Bay or beyond and I'll have> another look tomorrow morning including
at Southbank in South Brisbane,> where a Franklin's Gull turned up in the
late 1990s. Obviously the more eyes> out, the better.> > It's worth pointing
out that the rocky spit to the right of the boat harbour> at Scarborough had
probably a couple of hundred Silver Gulls roosting this> afternoon along
with Crested, Caspian, Common and Little Terns. It was the> first place I
looked and certainly it wasn't a bad place to start. Bob> Inglis I hope has
his eagle eyes out in the area so hopefully it'll show up.> > Andrew
Stafford> > ===============================>>> > To unsubscribe from this mailing list, > send
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