The 3 Gull Heads
Were posed a bit of a ‘quiz’. Taken in Essex by Steve Arlow last week. Answers:
This is an adult Caspian Gull. The same bird appears in original post in full view showing structure and wing tip pattern. Also seen perhaps last winter by Dominic Mitchell and seen at Rainham by Richard Bonser and others a few days ago
The head of a pretty typical adult Yellow-legged Gull- some have deeper red orbital ring and bit more red on bill but lovely beefy deep bill on this one. Looks the business.
Steve only saw the head and part of the body of this bird and rather bright yellow legs. No wing tip pattern seen. I wonder if this is a dark-eyed michahellis Yellow-legged Gull. The head and bill shape suggest that and the streaking is spot-on, but the bill colouring is a bit weak. I have not seen many adult michahellis with dark eyes but they do occur. To really be sure of the identity would need to see the wing tip pattern and record any long call posture and call types. See Steve’s thoughts and questions here.