Lesser Black-backed Gull at Broome tip

To: <>
Subject: Lesser Black-backed Gull at Broome tip
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2013 15:59:18 +1100
The Gull was still there this morning bathing in a puddle near the gate. The 
Semi-palmated Plover was seen yesterday on the beach near the Port. 
Tony Palliser arrived back from NW India this morning with numerous photos of 
heuglini Lesser Black-backed Gulls so we will be able to compare our bird with 
those taken same day! 
In the meantime here are some opinions from the UK.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136


From: Alan Dean  
Sent: Tuesday, 22 January 2013 3:24 AM
To: 'Kimberley Bird Watching'
Cc: Dick Newell
Subject: RE: FW: Gull ID Broome tip


Hello George,


It can be difficult to assess shade of grey accurately from photos but given it 
is as dark as Kelp ( and even fuscus entered the discussion) that is much 
darker than even western heuglini, which is the darkest end of the cline. Birds 
at western end of the range of heuglini (the ones I've seen) are much the same 
shade of grey as a graellsii Lesser Black-back. In flight there is quite an 
obvious contrast between the grey of the coverts /base of remiges and the black 
on the primaries. I wonder whether your bird is too dark?


                        Regards,  Alan


From: Alan Dean  
Sent: Friday, 18 January 2013 6:26 PM
To: 'Dick Newell'; 'Kimberley Bird Watching'
Subject: RE: FW: Gull ID Broome tip


Hello Dick & George,


My experience of Kelp (and Cape) Gulls is too limited for me to pass any firm 
opinion. To my eye the photos convey rather differing impressions of the 
overall bulk and  bill structure in particular but overall I find that the bill 
appears rather weaker and more slender than I would expect in Kelp, though as 
Dick notes it may be within the compass a small female Kelp. The legs also look 
rather more deeply yellow (less olive or grey tinted) than the Kelps I've seen 
but photos suggest this hue does occur. I agree with Dick about the moult 
strategy. Also, despite the moult and wear, it looks to me that the width of 
the white trailing edge to the inner primaries is much narrower than is typical 
of Kelp. See for example the flight shots here: In Jim Allen's flight shot I could 
well imagine it was fuscus but taking all the photos into account it lacks that 
delicate 'genteel' demeanour of fuscus.


                Regards,  Alan



From: Dick Newell  
Sent: 17 January 2013 09:40
To: Kimberley Bird Watching
Cc: Alan Dean
Subject: Re: FW: Gull ID Broome tip


Hi George,

Happy New Year to you!

I am not sure what this is, my first reaction was Kelp Gull, because it looks 
quite dark, even black in the first shot, the legs look grey/greenish (though 
the feet are yellow), it looks a bit heavy about the head and bill, and the 
white tips to the secondaries look rather broad.

But, it has arrested its primary moult at P6, which is the sort of thing that 
both fuscus and heuglini do, and not what Kelp Gull does as far as I know. As 
it is so dark, I suppose the choice is between fuscus and dominicanus.

The iris looks a little dark which I guess is more kelp. The mirrors on P10 and 
P9 don't help - could be either.

The structure of the bird is intermediate, it could be a female Kelp or a big 
male fuscus, though the flight shots look really heavy for fuscus.

So, I would say Kelp, but I cannot explain the arrested moult, so what i am 
really saying is, I am not sure.

I'll copy this to a friend, Alan Dean - we share thoughts on gulls


On 17 January 2013 08:41, Kimberley Bird Watching 
<> wrote:

Hi Dick, Happy New Year, We have an odd gull in Broome at the moment and would 
love your opinion if you have time, obviously Kelp Gull is a contender being 
Australia but could it be Lesser Black-backed or even Heuglin's Gull ?

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