Juvenile Mediterranean Gull

While scanning through the assembled Black-headed Gulls at Summer Leys late this afternoon I came across this smart juvenile Mediterranean Gull.

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull, Summer Leys LNR, 14th August 2012 (Mike Alibone)

It has already begun its moult to first-winter plumage with most of the scapulars and many mantle feathers now light grey but it has not yet developed the dark mask of a full first-winter. In this respect it’s a very distinctive bird compared to the accompanying Black-headed Gulls, lacking the latter’s well defined, isolated dark ear covert spot but already showing white ‘eye-lids’, a much heavier, dark, blunt-ended, slightly drooping bill and dark legs.

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull, Summer Leys LNR, 14th August 2012 (Mike Alibone)

So far this autumn there have been two juveniles at Stanwick GP on 28th July, and singles at Pitsford Res on 1st, 2nd and 12th August. Hopefully we can look forward to more arriving over the next few weeks …

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