Friday, December 3, 2010

Kelp Gulls

Apologies for the break in transmission. I've been away for a short while.

 Bird observations were in good hands during my absence with these Kelp gull photographs being captured and the birds identified by 11 year old Lilli King before my return. Lilli snapped the two gulls in these pictures at Emily Bay one morning by sneaking through the grass without a zoom lens to assist. From further observations we think that there could be as many as 3 birds present, as the unusual black bar across the tail (seen in the in-flight image) of the adult-looking bird was absent in another seen at Kingston near the pier on Thursday 2 December.

The bill confirms the    identification, and the black bar on the tail is presumed to be unmoulted juvenile plumage. Discussion welcome.

Presumably these are the birds mentioned to me prior to my departure as possible Pacific gulls.

New Zealand books refer to this bird as the Southern Black-backed gull.

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