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Old Monday 4th October 2010, 15:25   #1
Valéry Schollaert
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Please gull specialists confirm this new species for Tanzania

Here all,

OK, it probably just looks as a normal Yellow-legged Gull for you... but it is a great news because it would be the first Tanzanian (and even East African) record, to my knowledge)...

http://www.valeryschollaert.com/inde...621&Itemid=318

As I'm now living in East Africa I don't have 'in my eyes" the Palaearctic gulls... so please tell me what do think!!!! I will wait your answer before announcing this record on the African and Tanzanian forums.

Cheers and THANKS in advance.
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Old Monday 4th October 2010, 17:41   #2
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Nobody? Please.......... I can't wait to hear your opinion..............
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Old Monday 4th October 2010, 17:44   #3
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Looks fine for Yellow Legged Gull for me (though I'm no expert).

Great find if it is one, well done
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Old Monday 4th October 2010, 20:59   #4
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YL gull for me too
nice find
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Old Monday 4th October 2010, 21:04   #5
lou salomon
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what about armenian? or even steppe gull? can't see anything to exclude either. YLG is more or less resident to the mediterranean while the two mentioned are migrants...
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Old Tuesday 5th October 2010, 06:45   #6
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It looks very long legged, if that helps at all Lou
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Old Tuesday 5th October 2010, 08:10   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lou salomon View Post
what about armenian? or even steppe gull? can't see anything to exclude either. YLG is more or less resident to the mediterranean while the two mentioned are migrants...
YLG is certainly more of a wanderer than being "more or less resident to the mediterranean",look at the hundreds seen in the UK for example.
I don`t think this is an Armenian, the bill size and shape and the head shape are wrong for that species, being too long and without the steep, bulbous forehead respectively, although open wing shots would be helpful.Also the iris is surely too pale for most if not all Armenian Gulls, I`ve seen a few with a light brown iris but not as pale as this bird, but perhaps they occur.
Steppe Gull is a real possibility here, but again an open wing shot would be helpful.
Have attached a pic of Steppe Gull and Armenian side by side, I took this in Israel a couple of years ago.Attachment 287053

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Old Tuesday 5th October 2010, 09:23   #8
Valéry Schollaert
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Hi all,

I received from several forums dozens of confirmation it is a YLG. I've seen open wing but couldn't take photos from the small boat in the waves. Wing tip typical of YLG. Bill doesn't match Armenian for me (would be a good find too by the way, even better for me as it would be African tick) nor the eye. I've seen plenty Steppe Gull in Oman but never with such bright yellow on bill or legs. Clear red eye ring seems also good point for YLG.

Thank you for your comment that always let me know better.

Cheers,

Valéry
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Old Tuesday 5th October 2010, 11:53   #9
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everything you said (snowcap, valery, jane) is correct.
maybe i should explain my caution. the bird indeed looks long legged, with bright yellow bare parts and a nice red orbital, ergo: it looks like a YLG.
my point was that i wouldn't want to be 100% firm in the ID considering the huge variation in large gulls even concerning structure.
and for snowcap: sure YLG regularly wanders in large numbers northwards and reaches southern sweden after breeding. sure vagrant YLGs have been recorded in north america. but, most YLGs breed in the mediterranean and are more or less sedentary there, no real southbound migration like the more northern taxa. now, tanzania is really very far, at the equator. and i'd expect a real migrant to be more likely there, like steppe gull for instance. we are used to see smallish, short legged and finer billed steppe gulls from pics in oman etc but on breeding grounds in central russia there are many birds that give a rather robust impression. actually we don't know very much about that taxon. of course even armenian and steppe would be off their normal wintering range, which are in much more east (barabensis, rel. long distance migrant) or in the levant for armenicus, as a short distant migrant. armenicus also is not very numerous and little recorded outside its normal range.

an open wing would allow to see how far down black reaches: p5, p4 or even p3? considering variation within the single taxons even that would not be conclusive. the bird has shed the outer 2 primaries so there would be no mirror visible, a crucial feature to separate YLG from armenian and steppe.

so, it might well be a michahellis but i'd like to hear how people conclusively exclude steppe gull, armenian or even taimyrensis heuglin's.
these are really hard and a single vagrant bird should be examined cautiously. there's no head striation on this bird for instance.

http://www.elisanet.fi/antero.lindho...korgalzyn.html

http://www.elisanet.fi/antero.lindho...murals/ad.html

http://www.uaebirding.com/uae-gulls/.../gullblog.html

http://www.pbase.com/hans_larsson/ba..._2611412_2009_

http://chrisgibbins-gullsbirds.blogs...ls-in-uae.html

links for 'mich' would fill pages...

end of the sermon,

all the best and hope we can get further
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