Re: Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Australia

To: <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>
Subject: Re: Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Australia
From: "David James" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2005 17:05:00 +1100

Just for your info, The Cocos record was published in:

Johnstone, R.E. & Darnell J.C.  2004. Annotated Checklist of Birds from
Cocos-Keeling islands. Appendix B, pp 477-99. in Johnstone, R.E. & Storr. G.M.
(eds). Handbook of Western Australian Birds, Vol. 2, Passerines (Blue-winged
Pitta to Goldfinch). WA Museum, Perth.

I have to agree from the 2 photos of the Broome gull I saw perched, that the
bill shape and rear-end structure are suggestive of fuscus, as is the
gradually sloping forehead. I'm not sure that tiny mirrors and narrow white
tips to the secondaries are features that can be used to separate fuscus from
dominicus. the mirror on p10 of the left wing looks quite large to me. The
tips of the secondaries are very worn. Though admittedly pale, I shouldn't
think the grey shade of the upperparts is beyond the range of Kelp in plumage
this worn. The small scapular crescent is interesting, but again the worn
state of the upperparts needs to be considered.  


David James
Coordinator of Biodiversity Monitoring
Christmas Island National Park

Parks Australia North,
PO Box 867,
Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)
WA 6798

Ph: (08) 9164 8700
fax: (08) 9164 8755

>>> Mike Carter 7/11/2005 12:44:44 pm >>>
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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