Terry Reis & myself have just found a single Black-tailed Gull from about
2:00pm today at the Cairns Esplanade. Also present with us at a later time was
Adam Arnold. The gull was still there at 4:00pm when we left the scene.
We believe the bird was at first immature non-breeding stage - plenty of photos
have been taken by myself & Terry, both on the deck & in flight.
All other possible gull species have, we believe, been successfully ruled out
leaving us in no doubt whatsoever that we have made a positive ID as a first
immature non-breeding Black-tailed Gull.
I will be processing my photos later today & these will be available for
scrutiny from tonight - one or 2 will be posted on Birdline North Qld later
Salient ID features we noted as significant (among others) were - pink basal
2/3rd's of bill with dark tip, pink legs & feet, overall size being only a
little larger than Silver Gull but heavier-set & thicker headed & too small for
a Kelp Gull, short legged, & wholly black tail with marginal white tip prob
Both Terry & I will be writing up this record for submission to BARC for
I believe this will be the first confirmed sighting for Cairns, & it was
certainly a new species for Terry, myself & Adam.
Cheers for now,
0428 782 808
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