a single BLACK-TAILED GULL seen in Cairns, FNQ on Friday 09/03/18

At about 9:45am on Friday 09/03/18, I had a nice but brief encounter with a lone Black-tailed Gull on the western edge of the Cairns CBD. It flew in towards me from the coast (east) at about 50mtrs above ground, and as luck sometimes has it, it flew directly over the top of me to continue without deviation away from me directly above the line of Hartley St in a westerly direction. I tried to follow the gull in my car but unfortunately lost it. I had a good look at it’s underside. It had a clean white tail with a broad and neat black sub-terminal band, clean white head and underparts, and clean white underwings with dark primaries. Some of the secondaries could have been dark-ish too, but this wasn’t something that I recall seeing. From all of these features, I would say this bird was a non-breeding adult, or if the secondaries were dusky, then a late 2nd-year non-breeding immature.

As far as I know the bird hasn’t been seen since, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t up here somewhere…

On 01/04/18, Terry Reis and myself found a lone Black-tailed Gull on the Cairns Esplanade – that individual was a younger immature bird.

As far as I am aware, these are the only 2 records of Black-tailed Gull in the Cairns region.

Cheers for now,

Martin Cachard,

Solar Whisper Wildlife Cruises,

Daintree River, FNQ.

& Trinity Beach, Cairns, FNQ

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