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Old Saturday 9th December 2017, 23:56   #1
Stonefaction
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Dark Herring Gull, Dundee Scotland 9/12/17

While looking through the gulls at a local pond in Dundee, Scotland today, this very dark individual stood out among the Herring Gulls. In particular the overall brown-ish look and especially the almost solid belly colouring which made me think of American Herring Gull (or at least my rather limited knowledge of them). Having had a wee read of the relevant sections in a few places there seems to be a possibility that the tail markings might also point towards AHG, especially the undertail barring which looks rather heavy. With Herring Gulls in particular I still struggle to know what features I should be looking at to differentiate, so I will not be surprised to find that this bird is nothing other than a dark individual European Herring Gull, but I'd rather get a second/third/fourth opinion, just in case it is something good.
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Old Saturday 9th December 2017, 23:57   #2
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More pics....
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Old Saturday 9th December 2017, 23:58   #3
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And last two flight shots...
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Old Sunday 10th December 2017, 14:05   #4
Dean Nicholson
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2w Herring Gull - not quite enough dark in the tail for smiths, also 2w smiths tend to show a pale based (Glaucous-like) bill by this date. Many Northern Herring Gulls (from Scandinavia, Iceland, Faroes etc) are often dark looking like this (some with all black tails) and which may or may not contain distant smithsonianus genes...
Nice pics by the way.
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Old Sunday 10th December 2017, 18:31   #5
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Thanks, Dean. I struggled to find any single photo of a bird that looked quite as dark as mine in the books/websites I looked at. I did come across the info about the bill but with gulls being so variable I thought it best to get an opinion from folks better informed than I am.
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