Lesser Black-backed Gull at Broome tip

To: "'Mike Carter'" <>, <>
Subject: Lesser Black-backed Gull at Broome tip
From: "Tony Palliser" <>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2013 19:16:13 +1100
Hi everyone,
Have just started to go through the images taken a few days ago in NW India
and have begun uploaded them here

(select view at original size to see a larger file)

Interestingly, these birds appear a little paler above than the images I saw
taken by Rohan earlier.    For the record I have attempted to take great
care with colour contrast - given the importance of this when identifying
gulls.   That said I am not entirely sure that these birds are Heuglins'
Gull but this is what the books and various trips reports are saying they
should be at this locality - namely Modhva Beach, Near Mandvi, Gujurat,


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Mike Carter
Sent: Tuesday, 22 January 2013 3:59 PM
Cc: Jim Allen; Danny Rogers; George Swann of Kimberley Birdwatching; Tony
Palliser; Rohan Clarke
Subject: Lesser Black-backed Gull at Broome tip

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

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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