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Does this look good for Heuglins Gull? Sudan (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I took photos of some large gulls as they flew passed me today at Jebel Aulia Dam just south of Khartoum. According to the "Distribution Atlas of Sudan's Birds" by Nikolaus, the only large gulls of this type in the country are Heuglin's Gull (a vagrant inland) and Lesser Black-backed Gull of the race L. f. fuscus. However, I am conscious that there may be other possibilities. There were several Lesser Black-backs around that all had very dark upperparts and I have included a photo for comparison (the 4th photo). When this paler bird flew past it stood out from the others. I am not familiar with Heuglin's and I'm a bit out of touch with what's been going on with large gulls in the last few years, so any comments will be welcomed.
Sorry for the poor quality of the photos, but all I had was fly-bys.



  • Poss Heuglins Gull 1 Jebel Aulia Nov 2010.jpg
    Poss Heuglins Gull 1 Jebel Aulia Nov 2010.jpg
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  • Poss Heuglins Gull 2 Jebel Aulia Nov 2010.jpg
    Poss Heuglins Gull 2 Jebel Aulia Nov 2010.jpg
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  • Poss Heuglins Gull 3 Jebel Aulia Nov 2010.jpg
    Poss Heuglins Gull 3 Jebel Aulia Nov 2010.jpg
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  • Lesser Black-backed Gull Jebel Aulia Nov 2010.jpg
    Lesser Black-backed Gull Jebel Aulia Nov 2010.jpg
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Last edited:

lou salomon

the birdonist
old left wing p10 (outermost primary) seems to have an all white tip, well maybe with a very thin subterminal band. but this is wrong for heuglini and rather would favour caspian gull. exif data says that it was taken 2 days ago - moult stage with an old p10 and p8/9 missing in left wing (p8-10 in right wing) is pretty late for this species though, still it would be too advanced for a heuglin's. it may therefore be a bird from somewhere in between - which would be barabensis, steppe gull, or a northern breeding caspian. i'd favour the latter since steppe gull usually shows black down to p4 (some even p3) while this has a solid mark only to p5. the bird is in bad state, secondaries seem to be worn off etc. so it may be way off its normal migration route.



Well-known member
Thanks for the comments. Caspian Gull must be a real possibility, but I imagine it will never be possible to confirm with pictures such as these. I believe it would be the first record for Sudan, so it would need to be 100% certain to be acceptable.

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