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Gull Id help please, Baghdad, July 22 (1 Viewer)

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Here is another group of fuzzy photos. There were two gulls. I think one at least is an adult armenian gull but the lack of any white on the wing tips in the flight photo and the colour of the legs make me wonder (as does my inexperience in gulls more generally). Even though the flight photo is quite fuzzy I would have thought any white mirrors would have been visible. Armenian is the default species here, especially at this time of year.
While the legs seem better for lesser black-back gull, I would have thought white mirrors would have definitely been visible. Also, I was thinking that the forehead slope was better for LBBG, though I actually have no idea if that is at all helpful in iding which gull it might be.
thank you in advance for your assistance.
steve
 

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Vyomkesh

Well-known member
India
European Herring? I'm not sure wether they occur there but primaries do not show mirrors in the link I shared.

 

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Thank you Vyomkesh for the suggestion. I think a herring gull would be quite rare here, there are no records for it in Iraq in eBird and the both eBird and Opus suggest Iraq would be pretty far out of range for it. But it is interesting. Perhaps I should record it in eBird and then have it corrected:)
Thank you for spending the time looking at those photos and more time thinking about what it could be.
Much appreciated
steve
 

MJB

Well-known member
Here is another group of fuzzy photos. There were two gulls. I think one at least is an adult armenian gull but the lack of any white on the wing tips in the flight photo and the colour of the legs make me wonder (as does my inexperience in gulls more generally). Even though the flight photo is quite fuzzy I would have thought any white mirrors would have been visible. Armenian is the default species here, especially at this time of year.
While the legs seem better for lesser black-back gull, I would have thought white mirrors would have definitely been visible. Also, I was thinking that the forehead slope was better for LBBG, though I actually have no idea if that is at all helpful in iding which gull it might be.
thank you in advance for your assistance.
steve
Have you ruled out Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans, which winters in eastern Iraq, including Baghdad...? See http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/caspian-gull-larus-cachinnans/distribution
MJB
 

Vyomkesh

Well-known member
India

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CARERY

Well-known member
The white tips and even mirrors of the outer primaries can be completely worn off as seems to be the case here. It seems to have a dark eye and has more black at the wingtip than a classic Caspian Gull. So I would say Armenian Gull seems a good call. But best wait for Lou to comment...

Compare with other birds in summer:Larus armenicus
 
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Vyomkesh

Well-known member
India
The white tips and even mirrors of the outer primaries can be completely worn of as seems to be the case here. It seems to have a dark eye and has more black at the wingtip than a classic Caspian Gull. So I would say Armenian Gull seems a good call. But best wait for Lou to comment...

Compare with other birds in summer:Larus armenicus
Looks like Armenian now.I think I can see black ring near tip of its beak
 

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I had looked at birdlife before but had not noticed the page you supplied MJB, thank you for that. All the information provided is most appreciated and of course quite helpful in
 

jogresh

Bimble and patch
What about barabensis? (or an intergrade with cachinnans). A numerous taxon in the Middle East. I don't know enough about them i'm afraid!
 

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Thank you everyone for your comments and the links. Lots to look at and study:) I very much appreciate your help and suggestions. Lots to research during my downtime here.
steve
 

lou salomon

the birdonist
structure and plumage all point towards a Larus (fuscus) barabensis. typically such female types have shortish yellow legs (shorter and more yellow than in caspian). as to lack of mirrors - like Roland told, these seem to be worn off (note round wingtip). it could well be a 4rd cycle (4cy) - some barabensis are adult like at this time of year and this at this age.
 

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Thank you Lou and everyone for your comments and especially for taking the time to look and think about these bird. There have 3 or 4 gulls hanging around the last few days, about a month or two absence. Some have seemed quite darker back and wings then others but that could be just the light. A little egret was standing along the water line close to one gull and they looked about the same size.
Anyways, back to the links provided, much appreciated, to study more:). Even though there are only LBBG and Armenian as being common (and black headed of course) around here I am having difficulty telling them apart.
much appreciated
steve
 

jogresh

Bimble and patch
Keep on getting the pics, as it all adds to our knowledge of the gulls of the area. It may help you to ID them, if you are up to date with latest taxonomy and distribution info. From my limited understanding i would think that barabensis is probably the most numerous taxon. Armenian may be a passage bird but i'm not sure how numerous. Cachinnans or intergrades might possibly occur. There is debate as to which species are included within the "Lesser Black Backed" group but most will not reach Baghdad; heuglini is the only likely contender i would think (perhaps an outside chance of L. f. fuscus) but again may not be numerous. Some taxa are more likely to linger or even spend the winter, along rivers far from the coast.
 

Vyomkesh

Well-known member
India
Keep on getting the pics, as it all adds to our knowledge of the gulls of the area. It may help you to ID them, if you are up to date with latest taxonomy and distribution info. From my limited understanding i would think that barabensis is probably the most numerous taxon. Armenian may be a passage bird but i'm not sure how numerous. Cachinnans or intergrades might possibly occur. There is debate as to which species are included within the "Lesser Black Backed" group but most will not reach Baghdad; heuglini is the only likely contender i would think (perhaps an outside chance of L. f. fuscus) but again may not be numerous. Some taxa are more likely to linger or even spend the winter, along rivers far from the coast.
This is one of the most complex taxa, eBird keeps heuglini and barabensis in Lesser Black Backed (as per 2019 update), but to be on safer side, I believe its best we use them as separate in discussions.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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