Put your birding skills to the test by correctly identifying six winter gulls
GOOD OLD GULLS! They may not be every birdwatcher’s favourite bird, but, arguably, they provide more ID challenges than just about any other group. There are a few key factors for this state of affairs. Firstly, gulls come in a range of plumages according to their age, as well as time of year, which leads to a bewildering array of ‘birds’ to learn. Secondly, intraspecific variation is very pronounced, especially in larger gulls: with a wide range of size and structure even for one species. Thirdly, some species are so similar, that only in very recent times have they been ‘split’ from each other (and there may be more splits to come). With that in mind, here are six British gulls to get your teeth into. Name them, then turn for the solutions, then turn again for a few more tips on gull (and other bird) identification.