BIRD 1

Bird Watching (UK) - - February Id Challenge -

A de­light­ful win­ter scene: a big im­ma­ture gull in the snow. Big? The bill is the real give­away, be­ing much deeper than on the small gulls and with a pro­nounced gony­deal an­gle. This is the an­gu­lar point on the un­der­side of the bill, near the tip and, gen­er­ally, the less ob­tuse, the larger the gull (small gulls have an al­most im­per­cep­ti­ble , ‘flat’ bill base. Im­ma­ture? The heav­ily spot­ted un­der­parts and up­per­parts in­clud­ing the wings are typ­i­cal of a younger gull. In fact, we can go fur­ther and say the well de­fined wing covert mark­ings and un­der­part splodges and the lightly streaked head means this is a ju­ve­nile into first-win­ter gull. The con­trast­ingly pale head and that very deep heavy bill con­firm this gull is a first-win­ter Great Black-backed Gull.

KEY FEA­TURES

†Very heavy bill, deep with a pro­nounced gonys

†Pale head con­trast­ing with darker back

†Chunky, bulky, pow­er­ful build

†Worn ter­tials, still show step down to pri­maries

Mas­sive, deep bill Prom­i­nent ‘gonys’ Pale head

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