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Old Monday 23rd October 2006, 19:19   #1
AJDH
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Gull confusion eastern Saudi Arabia

I'm suffering from some confusion trying to tie down this gull. It was taken today off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia.
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Old Monday 23rd October 2006, 20:26   #2
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Gull confusion, is the word The question is, can we find a way out of that confusion regarding this gull? Looks like an adult, dark markings on primary coverts usually a sign of non fully adult, but on barabensis its not unusual for adults to have some dark markings on the PC. I think we can exclude heuglini on moult alone at this time of year, to advanced for heuglini.
So its between (eastern, which has more black on primaries, and darker upperparts.) cachinnans and barabensis. The long slender bill points to cachinnans, but could well be in range for barabensis. 8 primaries renewed with black subterminal mark on p4 indicating barabensis. The growing p9 has no white mirror, also indicating barabensis. The contrast between white coverts and grey flight feathers is good for barabensis. The large looking, and pale eye would seem to point away from cachinnans, and some barabensis as well, but variation, and the fact that the similarities between these 'two', and even some heuglini (moult factor though) makes it very difficult, or impossible to make a definite ID.
Good images Adrian!

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Old Monday 23rd October 2006, 23:24   #3
lou salomon
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a cachinnans for me. barabensis at this age (even if it is 5cy) should have yellow legs - these are pinkish. whole head structure says cachinnans to me - barabensis usually neater; an eastern type with a lot of black and lacking grey tongues. we have seen enough cachis with pale irises not to be surprised by this. moult score is ok for cachi as well. (would be ok for a younger barabensis too).
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Old Tuesday 24th October 2006, 04:07   #4
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Thanks Jan and Lou.........................but is it any wonder I get confused.
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Old Tuesday 24th October 2006, 21:21   #5
motacilla oenenthe
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so the ring billed gull isnt the only gull with a ringed bill?
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Old Tuesday 24th October 2006, 21:21   #6
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cause it looks like that one has a ringed bill too
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Old Tuesday 24th October 2006, 21:25   #7
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Most large gull species and many smaller gull species will show rings on the bill at a certain age.
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Old Tuesday 24th October 2006, 22:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lou salomon
a cachinnans for me. barabensis at this age (even if it is 5cy) should have yellow legs - these are pinkish. whole head structure says cachinnans to me - barabensis usually neater; an eastern type with a lot of black and lacking grey tongues. we have seen enough cachis with pale irises not to be surprised by this. moult score is ok for cachi as well. (would be ok for a younger barabensis too).
Of course it could be a cachinnans, moult score would in fact indicate cachinnans since barabensis has a later moult, However the indication that eastern cachinnans may have a later moult makes the difference in timing of moult uncertain, and considering the similarities between the the two, it just might be misidentified barabensis. Leg colour is variable, although barabensis, and a certain percentage in some populations of cachinnans, has deep yellow legs, while many northern populations of barabensis has less yellow legs, fleshy, grey (Gulls). Problematic situation in N. Kazakhstan with birds showing mixed characters with cachinnans (Gulls) and again these:

http://www.elisanet.fi/antero.lindho...urgaldzino.htm

As Lou says barabensis usually neater, with a more rounded head, shorther bill and as chacinnans usually with small looking eye (dark eyes making it look smaller), but many (males) approaching cachinnans in size and proportions (structure).
The nearly only thing wich prevent me to even consider heuglini for Adrians gull is the primary moult score!

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