We don’t want these challenges to be too easy, so sometimes choose birds in more ‘realistic’ poses to work on. Here is a gull apparently taking off from a roof. It looks to be another pale-backed, pale-winged species and looking at its right wing, there are no brown spots or stripes to suggest immaturity; this is an adult. The head is small and delicate looking and the bill is slight, looking dark red with a darker tip. This is clearly a smaller gull. Perhaps the strongest ID feature is that very prominent white leading edge panel, particularly on the outer wing. This in itself narrows it down to a very few species, with Black-headed Gull being the only common one. The ‘headphones’ pattern of black cheek spots confirm this is a winter adult Black-headed Gull.
Small head and thin dark red bill
Pale grey back and wings
Obvious ‘triangle’ of white in leading edge of wing
’Headphones’ look typical of winter plumage
White leading edge Small, dark red bill Looks like bird is ‘wearing headphones’