06 August 2014

Odd Caspian Gull – Sabkhat Al Fasl

On 15 May I found an unusual looking gull at Sabkaht Al Fasl in the concrete bunded area of the site. The bird appeared healthy and could fly but allowed reasonably close approach allowing a few reasonably photos to be taken. My first thoughts when I saw the bird fly was it was a Caspian Gull but the odd looking bill caused me to check my thoughts with Gull expert Jan Jorgensen. Jan very kindly sent me his thoughts as follows “The immediate impression is Caspian Gull, with an aberrant bill though. If this bird is somewhat reasonable healthy, the wear would fit Caspian better than other candidates in the area. In the flight shot the tail and inner primary pattern sits well with Caspian”. This is quite a late date for this species in the Eastern Province with most large white-headed gulls having moved on by late march to early April.