Mystery Gull Update

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Subject: Mystery Gull Update
From: Trevor Hardaker <>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 08:52:25 +0200
Hi All,

Thanks for all the responses so far. 

There have been some comments that the colours of the bird (in particular,
the secondaries and the legs) seem to be different in the various photos. We
can assure you that this is, in fact, the same bird and that it is probably
a result of the scanning of the slides or different angles of light that may
have caused this. 

The only additional information that we have for you at the moment is that
this bird was photographed on 12 February 2001 which may help you with
timing of moult, etc. The birds in the background are all the Southern
African subspecies of Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus vetula). The bird in
question was actually slightly smaller than these. The extension of the
wings beyond the tail to this degree should also eliminate Kelp Gull
immediately. Unfortunately, we did not personally see this bird, so cannot
give any further comments or descriptions.

So far, there have been suggestions for the following species:

Kelp Gull - Larus dominicanus
Great Black-backed Gull - Larus marinus
Baltic Gull - Larus fuscus
Heuglin's Gull - Larus heuglini
Caspian Gull - Larus cachinnans

Please go and have a look at and let us have
your opinion. This is a big learning curve for us South Africans as we are
not often exposed to these gulls.

Thanks again.

Kind Regards
Trevor and John
Trevor Hardaker and John Graham
Cape Town, South Africa

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