Laurie Daunt's picture

Little Gull

Observed: 30th January 2010 By: Laurie DauntLaurie Daunt’s reputation in BirdsLaurie Daunt’s reputation in BirdsLaurie Daunt’s reputation in Birds
Little gull

Black head and beak

Species interactions

No interactions present.


dw5448's picture

Not sure about that beak

The beak looks a bit hooked - more like blackheaded gull, but black would not be the colour then as you point out. Was it smaller than the usual blackheaded? Can't see any dark markings on the wing tips (for blackheaded), but its not easy to tell what is the bird and what is mud. Did you see any dark underwing or any other cues?

Sorry to be a pain - haven't seen Little Gull myself, and wouldn't have recognised this one from the photo.

Dave's picture

Little Gull?

I am certain that the 'Little Gull' in your photograph is a Black Headed Gull coming into summer plumage. My reasons for this are that the bill is too long and heavy for little Gull which has a shorter and finer all dark bill.

The head is too large and Little's generally has a neck-less appearance and the hood extends down the nape.

The grey on the wings of Little is paler than that on the bird in the photograph. An adult Little Gull would not show dark wing tips.

Little Gull has shorter paler legs rather than the relatively long red legs of this bird.

I hope this helps. I have been birdwatching regularly since 1977 and have seen many Little Gulls and I regularly watch a Gull roost in Doncaster wher most of the birds roosting are Black Headed.

There are 283 photographs of little Gulls on the Birdguides website including one in partial summer plumage (though coming out rather than going in) at The dark on the wing tips on this bird is on the underwing rather than the upper primaries.

Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson

Laurie Daunt's picture


Thanks, was not sure but I rekon on second thoughts it is a BH G

Laurie Daunt