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Thread: Great Black-backed Gulls or Kelp (Cape) Gulls at Kniffiss Lagoon, Southern MOROCCO

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    Default Great Black-backed Gulls or Kelp (Cape) Gulls at Kniffiss Lagoon, Southern MOROCCO

    Birding World published this article on the remarkable discovery of Kelp Gulls on the Atlantic Coast of Morocco - see link here http://www.go-south.org/papers1/berg...ding_world.pdf

    I visited the site two years ago and too claimed 10 adult birds - several of which were nesting on islands in amongst Yellow-legged Gulls. Whilst watching them, Robert Fuge and I were concerned at the apparent pink tones to the leg colour and the large size and bill size, but the short primary projection and short tibia convinced us we were watching Kelp Gulls.

    This spring, birders again visited the site and took more photographs and it now appears that the colony is largely made up of breeding Great Black-backed Gulls - a quite unexpected and quite incredible prospect. The species breeds only in Norway (32% of the population), Scotland (17%), Ireland and Iceland (17%) but has relatively recently colonized the rocky islets on the Brittany coast in France.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeEvans View Post
    Birding World published this article on the remarkable discovery of Kelp Gulls on the Atlantic Coast of Morocco - see link here http://www.go-south.org/papers1/berg...ding_world.pdf

    I visited the site two years ago and too claimed 10 adult birds - several of which were nesting on islands in amongst Yellow-legged Gulls. Whilst watching them, Robert Fuge and I were concerned at the apparent pink tones to the leg colour and the large size and bill size, but the short primary projection and short tibia convinced us we were watching Kelp Gulls.

    This spring, birders again visited the site and took more photographs and it now appears that the colony is largely made up of breeding Great Black-backed Gulls - a quite unexpected and quite incredible prospect. The species breeds only in Norway (32% of the population), Scotland (17%), Ireland and Iceland (17%) but has relatively recently colonized the rocky islets on the Brittany coast in France.

    hi lee,

    i have read that article with interest and, looking at the 1st pic, kelp gull seems indeed the better fit considering the small p10 mirror (large all white tip in GBBG), legs look greenish yellow on my screen. a short primary projection would fit either species.

    the southernmost breeding place of GBBG indeed is brittany coast in europe, in N america slightly more southern to cape cod. but it also breeds in all countries around the balticum and eastwards to the white sea (russian federation).

    do you know of any pics from this spring by the birders who revisited the marrocan colony?

    regards,

    lou

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    Apparently Lee Gregory got some reasonable pictures this spring which did get placed on the Surfbirds Gallery briefly before being removed. I hear on the grapevyne that they are being used in an article being prepared for Birding World......

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    Lee

    These three images are the only ones from the WP on surfbirds files.

    http://surfbirds.com/media/gallery_p...1223020223.jpg - Banc d'Arguin, Jochen Dierschke

    http://surfbirds.com/media/gallery_p...1223020302.jpg - ditto

    http://surfbirds.com/media/gallery_p...0310043750.jpg - Khniffis lagoon, Fabian Schneider - seems to show pinkish legs, but not quite what you might expect on GBBG.

    Brian S

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian S View Post

    http://surfbirds.com/media/gallery_p...0310043750.jpg - Khniffis lagoon, Fabian Schneider - seems to show pinkish legs, but not quite what you might expect on GBBG.
    It also shows a large white mirror on the underside of the wingtip. Looks more like a GBBG to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian S View Post
    http://surfbirds.com/media/gallery_p...0310043750.jpg - Khniffis lagoon, Fabian Schneider - seems to show pinkish legs, but not quite what you might expect on GBBG.
    Here are some higher resolution pictures:
    http://www.netfugl.dk/pictures/birds..._de_lecran.jpg
    http://www.netfugl.dk/pictures/birds..._de_lecran.jpg
    There seems to be a lot of white at the wing tips, but unfortunately the photos are quite blurry. On the other hand, the white trailing edges to the wings look extremely broad.

    Here are some real close-up photos from this year (pages 1 and 14):
    http://www.go-south.org/tripreports2...es_2010_01.pdf
    The white tips to the primaries appear quite small, or at least smaller than on the average GBBG, but I'm not a gull expert (and can't specifically judge the exact pattern of the two outer primaries).

    Page 15 shows a photo of the display:
    http://www.go-south.org/tripreports2...pettersson.pdf

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    The khniffis Lagoon gull is surely a GBBG. In fligh the tips to the secondaries do look very broad as CAU mentioned (as they also are on GBBG), a trifle broader than GBBG. However, due to sligt blur in the image possibly exaggerated. You never see a Kelp with such loads of white in the wingtip, blur or not. The two gulls shown here:

    http://www.go-south.org/tripreports2...es_2010_01.pdf

    surely are GBBG. Note the wingtip pattern with much white admixed at the tip

    From another continent:

    http://www.surfbirds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4287

    JanJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by JanJ View Post
    The khniffis Lagoon gull is surely a GBBG.

    JanJ
    I agree that the Khniffis Lagoon gull looks like a GBBG. I am attaching 3 photos of an adult Cape Gull taken in South Africa in January showing the leg colour and the amount of white on the wing.

    So, is the conclusion that there is a mixed colony in southern Morocco that consists of Kelp Gulls and GBBGs??

    Terry
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Khniffis Lagoon February 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by petrelhead View Post
    Khniffis Lagoon February 2010
    To me, this bird looks like a GBBG. Pinkish legs, all-white tip to P10, relatively large mirrors..

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