Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Australia

To: "Chris Hassell" <>, "Adrian Boyle" <>, "George & Lindsey Swann of Kimberley Birdwatching" <>, "Danny Rogers" <>, "Ian McAllan" <>, "John Darnell" <>, "David James" <>, "Hendrik Reers" <>
Subject: Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Australia
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2005 16:44:44 +1100
I apologise if this email offends anyone but just having returned from Ashmore having seen three new birds for Australia as well as three other BARC species, and faced with a barrage of emails, I've decided to reply to many with this one email. Incidentally, although new for Australia, this was not one of them!  
Photographs of a large perched gull resembling an adult Kelp Gull taken at Broome in July by Hendrik Reers have recently been circulating. There is now some concensus, Danny Rogers, Killian Mullarney & myself, that the bird is a Lesser Black-backed Gull. My reasons include long wing projection beyond tail, tiny mirrors, narrow white tips to secondaries, comparatively slender bill without a hook, red spot on gonys a different shade and postioned towards the rear rather than towards the front as in Kelp Gull, and slightly greyish shade to most of upper-parts.
And today, Ian McAllan drew my attention to Recovery Round-up in the latest Corella, September 2005, 29(3) 75, which reports a Lesser Black-backed Gull recovered dead on South Island, Cocos, on 25.09.1959, banded in Finland on 13.07.1957! This record was discovered by Mark Clayton while researching recent records for Cocos. 
Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mt Eliza    VIC     3930
Ph:  (03) 9787 7136
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