ab9967's picture

Gull

Observed: 1st January 2012 By: ab9967
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
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Gull
Description:

Smallish gull with white feathers and grey on back. Black tail feathers and dull organge beak with black tip. Dark spot and grey markings on head.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Ray Turner's picture

Nail on the Head

You have hit the nail on the head ab9967 the black is diagnostic; the Mediterranean Gull lacks the black tips and is the easy way to tell the two (B-hG v MG) apart at this time of year. In summer plumage the head of MG is actually black (as opposed to B-hG’s brown) and more completely covers the head, there are differences in bill, leg colour and build as well but these are not necessarily easy to spot in the field.

Incidentally the black you refer to is actually the primary feathers of the wings folded over the bird’s back rather than tail feathers.

Ray

Ray

ab9967's picture

Black headed gull id

Thanks for that, really pleased I got that one right for the right reasons too.

ophrys's picture

Black wing tips

What Ray says about white wing tips is true, as long as you are talking about an adult bird. First winter Mediterranean Gulls have black wing tips, and 2nd winter birds have black spots.

Of course, the real confusion species for this photo is Bonaparte's Gull, but maybe that is for another day... ;)

Ian
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ab9967's picture

Black-headed gull

Thanks for that, really pleased I got that one right.