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Black-Headed Gulls? Rimini, Italy 9-10 August (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Spotted a lot of gulls during a recent trip to Rimini, Italy. I think these are Black-headed gulls, but they could be Mediterranean Gulls perhaps?

None were breeding plumage. Some (that I didn't get reasonable photographs of) had very light gray heads.

Looking at some references, from what I can see most seem to have the spot behind the eye that looks like non-breeding Black-headed Gulls. But on some it's not that clear, perhaps juvenile? Dark tip on the bills also would seem to support Black-headed compared to Mediterranean.

Photos are from iPhone and are cropped.

Thanks for any help.


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Well-known member
Thanks to all who commented. I've gone back and looked at the pictures again (as well as a bunch I did not post) and they all look like Black-Headed Gulls based largely on bill shape. I've updated the appropriate records in eBird.


Well-known member
Im also not happy with no.3

Count me in too.

Head shape looks off for BHG, and the general impression I get is of a 3cy Med, which can show such reduced black markings on the head (usually only leucistic BHGs in my experience show such reduced head pattern). It also looks very pale (though I wouldn't trust that too much as exposure could be causing this) and the bi-coloured bill is more typical of 3cy Med Gull too.

I find it hard to judge bill depth in this image because of the dark background, but Meds can be surprisingly small-billed.
The wing pattern could fit either as primary moult can lead to a pattern like this in both species. Just too many 'ifs' for this to be so easily passed off as a standard BHG.

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