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A Herring Gull killing a Shag or Cormorant in Dunbar East Lothian (1 Viewer)

Clandestine Bird

Well-known member
A Great Black Backed Gull killing a Shag or Cormorant in Dunbar East Lothian

Hi Everybody,

today I took a birding walk in the Dunbar Beach (east lothian) and I got a Juvenil GBB Gull killing a shag or cormorant (difficult to see for the distance). I got some pics, the fight took around 40 - 50 minutes.

The gull trapped the tongue and bill of it's victim. I did not see how the fight started, I just arrived to the middle of this fight and the Shag or Cormorant was in his last moments of life...

At the end it looked like the Gull had eaten the tongue of the Shag or Cormorant and the Gull continued picking the dead bird.

The fight occurred in the sea around of 60 - 80 meters from the shore.

A photo it's uploaded...


Manuel Sanchez


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Tri-Counties Birder

AKA The Portland Naturalist
The bird is a Shag, and from that photo, it is clear the Gull is after its fish. It is unlikely a Herring Gull would be able to wrestle and kill a healthy Shag.

Clandestine Bird

Well-known member

¿Did you mean, that the Shag was sick or almost dead before it was attacked by the gull? I saw the bird eating parts of the tongue of the Shag (not sure about a fish) but ¿why is the Shag dead? I have more pics if you want, and the gull continues picking the Shag!...


Well-known member
you can see in the photo that the shag has a large fish in its mouth, so the gull will have been attacking it to try and steal the fish

Clandestine Bird

Well-known member
More images gull vs shag


the next pictures show has the gull try to eat part of the shag and another part of the shag floats in the right side (0899)

And another shows the gull pulling the Shag's upper mandible...(0883)



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Simon Wates

Well-known member
The gull is a first winter GBB. Looks to me like it was trying to swallow the fish - maybe the poor Shag drowned?

Dean Nicholson

Cloacal Protuberant.
I might be wrong.....but the gull looks more like 1w GBB on this one shot??

Beat me to it Simon!
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