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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 00:15   #1
Peewit
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Smile Are these Black Headed Gulls?

hi there

After a trip to Essex, (the whole report is on the x-Beebs are of this Forum), I took this picture of a row of Black Headed Gulls sitting together on the The Stour Estuary wall.

After looking hard at the photos I wonder if there are a couple of Med Gulls in amongst them - the brown colouring through the wings make me think that.

Could someone confirm for me please?

Do BHG's and Meds stick together as species in the winter months?

Regards
Kathy
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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 00:20   #2
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They're all Black-headed Gulls, Kathy. The 'brown colouring' you refer to is because they're 1st winter birds.
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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 00:25   #3
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Quote:
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They're all Black-headed Gulls, Kathy. The 'brown colouring' you refer to is because they're 1st winter birds.
Hi Dave

Thank you for the confirmation. So first year BHG's have the brown markings on wings.

Gulls are never the easiest to get to grips with - it is a never ending road to knowing the species.

Regards
Kathy
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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 02:53   #4
phil baber
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Sorry. All BH Gulls...
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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 03:56   #5
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Sorry. All BH Gulls...
Thanks Phil now I know better

Gosh Gulls are just the most difficult species to work out at the best of times.

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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 05:37   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peewit View Post
Gulls are never the easiest to get to grips with - it is a never ending road to knowing the species.

Regards
Kathy
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Black headed gulls are a good starting point Kathy, as you only have the 2 age groups, 1st winter and adult winter( at the moment). The bigger gulls such as Herring have 4 age groups, so a more bewildering range of plumages.
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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 10:18   #7
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Thanks Phil now I know better

Gosh Gulls are just the most difficult species to work out at the best of times.

Regards
Kathy
x
Hi Kathy,

You're not wrong they are difficult. Meds are generally a little larger than BHG, although there can be quite a big size difference between BHG's. But Meds are bulkier, more like Common Gulls. Also the bills are thicker & bigger. As a rule of thumb if you're not sure it's usually a BHG. Hope this helps.

Cheers, Neil.
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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 10:52   #8
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Kathy,

Here's a photo of a Mediterranean Gull. It's an adult in winter. A first-winter MG would also show dark markings on the wing coverts and tertials.

However they differ structurally to Black-headed Gull. Apart from normally being a little larger note the relatively long legs and stouter bill cf. BHG. The bill on MG can often appear 'droopy' at range.
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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 12:41   #9
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Thank you everyone for your contributions to this thread - lots of food for thought, and I take on board what has been said here. It is practice, practice, and more practice.

London birder: Now that picture of the Med gull has made me think a lot more what one looks like over the BHG.

As you mentioned...Meds are leggier than BHG and have a shorter bill - makes them stand out a little more so I will put the observation to good use now.

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