MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

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David Riddell
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MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby David Riddell » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:04 pm

On my phone and can't upload best pics but just seen strange gull near Opotiki. Hint of black cap, dark grey wings with smudgy black tips. Slightly bigger than RBG. More to come when I get computer and internet.
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ian smith
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Re: Franklin's gull (?) Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby ian smith » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:06 pm

Looks dark-BELLIED. Grey Gull? Heermann's??
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RussCannings
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Re: Franklin's gull (?) Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby RussCannings » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:31 pm

The long necked and winged proportions along with dark primaries and the grey blush on the neck give this a Laughing Gull look to me.

Russ
Last edited by RussCannings on Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sav
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Re: Franklin's gull (?) Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby sav » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:35 pm

Hi Ian,

I dont think either Grey or Heerman's would show a dark belly AND pale neck. Maybe the dark belly is a photographic effect?

I think it actually looks more like a Laughing Gull than a Franklin's...........there dont appear to be any mirrors on the primaries, and the dark neck sides would fit.

If David Riddell sees this by any chance would he call me, please ; 027 680 3740
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Michael
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Re: Franklin's gull (?) Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby Michael » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:45 pm

George and I (we often discuss bird ID) did think this bird had the ring of something extra special to it, and were going to have a closer look before other commitments stole the chance :( . Certainly is an odd bird.
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sav
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Re: Franklin's gull (?) Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby sav » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:11 pm

I just talked to David Riddell, who very kindly called me, and he confirms that the dark belly is a photographic effect. It all sounds pretty good for Laughing Gull.

He has better pics which he will post soon. The location is a few km to the West of Opotiki on SH2.
Sav Saville
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SomesBirder
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Re: Franklin's gull (?) Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby SomesBirder » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:29 pm

a pair of laughing gulls were recently seen in the Torres Strait. food for thought...
what in god's name is a folly tomo
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David Riddell
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Re: Laughing gull (?) Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby David Riddell » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:24 pm

Back on line properly now - the location is https://goo.gl/maps/YE7YYfxRYqs. There's a picnic area by the little estuary mouth and a new gazebo-type structure, the gull was in front of that most of the time, though at one point it flew briefly across to the far side. Annette saw it first - we were having a picnic when she said, very casually, "Oh look, a Franklin's gull." (We saw the one in Takanini.) First noticed the dark head and back, also the very long dark bill. When it flew we could see it had very dark wingtips apparently without mirrors, though it looks like there might be a very tiny white specks on the tips of a couple of the primaries in some of the shots (screen shots from video). Didn't have any books and only very basic internet access via phone so went with the tentative ID of Franklin's gull on the basis of the dark patches on the head, though had our doubts about the wingtips - thought it was possible the juveniles might lack mirrors. Have just looked at some laughing gull images and have to agree that looks a pretty good ID. As Sav has reported, the apparent dark belly in the first photo is an artefact, though the sides of the neck and breast are dark.

I'll put up a few photos and maybe a video if I can figure that out.
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Michael
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Re: Laughing Gull (?) Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby Michael » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:35 pm

It has got to be a Laughing Gull with that mammoth bill and smudgy wing tips, does it not? It is a stunning bird!
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George Hobson
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Re: Laughing Gull (?) Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby George Hobson » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:42 pm

Michael wrote:It has got to be a Laughing Gull with that mammoth bill and smudgy wing tips, does it not? It is a stunning bird!

After doing a bit of reaserch I would agree with Michael! What an amazing bird. This season is fantastic, could we have an nz first at foxton please?!
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