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Gull, Dundee, Scotland 16/7/23. (1 Viewer)


Dundee Birding....(target 145 in 2023).
I've posted this in the 'Gulls' subsection but it appears that not many people frequent there, so I'm posting it here in the hope of it getting some more attention and in the process, hopefully arriving at a definite ID.

I photographed this gull in a group of Herring and Lesser Black Backed Gulls at Dundee harbour, here in Scotland, yesterday (Sunday 16/7/23) - left hand bird in the first pic. The marginally smaller size, dark looking legs, high set small dark eye, slightly paler back and the slightly elongated shape made it stand out as looking a bit 'different'. The legs and back shades may be as a result of angle/lighting. As is usually the case with the 'odd' gulls I find it will probably be a Herring Gull and I'm struggling to make anything come close to 'fitting' exactly, though there appears to be a slight chance of it being an immature female Caspian Gull. I'd appreciate any help in firming up a definite ID for the bird. I've posted a few group shots which show just how different it appears. Unfortunately I don't have any flight shots, or better quality pics.


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Those are pretty good pictures - I cropped one and adjusted the lighting just to see if anything came up (see attached photo). Of the possible options, I believe it is a Herring Gull largely based on the pink legs and overall plumage. I do agree there are a number of physical characteristics that make this bird worth a closer look though.


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Thanks for taking the time to comment, Joe. Herring Gull ended up being the conclusion, which my 'odd gulls' tend to be - as Caspian and Yellow Legged Gulls are still pretty major rarities up this way. Checking the books/websites etc, I couldn't make it 'fit' anything else but it did stand out as being quite distinctive among the other Herring (and Lesser Black backed) Gulls, so rather than just dismiss it, I asked for opinions on it, both here and on Twitter - just in case. A very good birder from Fife who has found both Caspian and Yellow Legged (and has experience of both abroad) had a look at the pics on Twitter and like yourself concluded it was a Herring Gull. I'm determined I will eventually find a rarer gull locally....(just got to keep on looking).

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