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Large Baghdad gull id help please, and tern too:) (1 Viewer)

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Hello, these photos were taken on Monday, March 29 at about noon. The birds are on and around a sandbar in the Tigris in the middle of Baghdad. I am on one side and the US Embassy on the other, which makes using a telephoto lens a bit challenging.
I am guessing they are 2nd year Armenian gulls but the heads seem a bit white and no black line behind the eye compared to the photos I have been able to find on-line. However, I am likely completely wrong so hoping for a correction and even an ID if possible.

There are also a few terns in the photos, a couple at the bottom and also in photo 3 (middle photo) one can just see the bill and head of one. Common tern is the likely one here but the bill (especially the one where only the bill and head show) and leg colour seem wrong. Could be light of course. Little tern is also supposedly around but I do not see any white at the forehead. To me they look closer to white-cheeked but I thought those were coastal and this is pretty far inland.
any suggestions/ comments/ corrections appreciated
thank you in advance
steve
 

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KenM

Well-known member
I’m now thinking, the Gull is a 1st/2nd Winter Armenian as previously suggested by bhutjoe!

Cheers
 
Last edited:

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Thanks Ken. I notice on e-bird that a Caspian gull is recorded at this time of year around Baghdad. Not as popular as an Armenian for the area but then there are not that many people birdwatching so not as many records for here:)
Could you tell me what it is about it that suggests Caspian, for my learning, please?
thanks again for your response
steve
 

KenM

Well-known member
Well Steve like you I’m still learning, underwing and upper wing pattern swing it for me, also the bill (from what one can see looks smaller rather than Caspian size, also the eye doesn’t seem to fit the latter either (looking perhaps larger?), thus I’ve opted to agree with your earlier assessment. However I should wait for others to throw in their cents worth.

Cheers
 

bhutjoe

Well-known member
thanks Ken, I have been looking at young gulls on both Opus and e-bird but still struggling:) Your suggestions much appreciated. Hope others will join in too:)
thanks again
steve
 

lou salomon

the birdonist
it could be either caspian or armenian or even steppe. not much to get from these images. apparently shortish bill is in favour of armenicus, rather plain wing more pro cachinnans (which i think is rather scarce in that area). tendentially i'd go for armenian, they also can have almost plain grey scapulars at this time of year.
 

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Thank you Lou. Could you tell me what parts of the bird I should try to capture with a photo? Unfortunately one cannot easily have binoculars here so I am restricted to photographs and then looking at them on my laptop.
thanks again for your comments
steve
 

lou salomon

the birdonist
upperwing pics and fanned open tail from above are best in immature large gulls (as in pic 1). just quality of the pics could be a bit better - you'd need to see more detail to try a positive ID - which in your neck of the woods is really hard anyway.
 

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Thanks Lou. Now I also know what to study more in the photos online, in Opus and elsewhere. Most helpful.
much appreciated and all the best
steve
 

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