BIRD 5

Bird Watching (UK) - - February Id Challenge -

Yet an­other pale grey-backed gull in the Her­ring Gull mould? Look again, and you will no­tice that the bill is much too small for one of those brutes or its clos­est rel­a­tives. That bill is short and nar­row and yel­low with a black band. This bill and those pale greeny-yel­low legs nar­row it down to a Com­mon Gull or a Ring-billed Gull. The lat­ter gets its name from the black band through the bill (like here). But it is also a fea­ture of Com­mon. So, bill-wise it comes down to a judg­ment of how thin or thick the bill ap­pears (Com­mon has a thin­ner bill). Luck­ily, there is help in the form of eye colour. Ring-billed has a pale iris. This dark-eyed bird is an adult win­ter Com­mon Gull.

KEY FEA­TURES

†Typ­i­cal pale grey backed and winged gull

†Short, nar­row yel­low bill with black band

†Pale green or yel­low legs

†Dark eye

Short, thin yel­low bill with dark band Green-yel­low legs Dark eye

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