[Mystery bird] Mediterranean Gull, Larus melanocephalus, photographed flying over Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]
Nikon D40x with 70-300AF.
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
It's not a black headed gull, because it's head is black :-)
(I'm pretty sure I know what it is, but I'll leave it to others :-)
It's a mediterranean gull, you can tell by the fact that its head is as Paul King pointed out black rather than dark brown. The underside of the black headed gull's wings are also darker towards the tip.
Also I don't think I've ever seen that pale patch just behind the beak on a black-headed gull, but you see it on some mediterranean gulls.
There have been a few of these among the black headed gulls in my area resently.
I'm not sure, but I think it's a Mediterranean Gull, based on the white wings and red beak.
I go with Mediterranean Gull too. Distinctive features: black head (not choc brown); broken eye ring; "droopy" red bill with yellow tip and black band; red legs.
beautiful photo Adrian!
It seems that it's already decided...
certainly both Pauls and Keith key in on the black as opposed to brown head which essentially rules out the Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) and SimonG must be referring to the underside of the wing which shows all white in this species and which helps eliminate the Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus) which would show a dark grey underwing, and the lack of black on the underside of the wingtips eliminates the Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) as well as the rare visitor, the Franklin's Gull- the underwing of the Black-headed Gull would also show light grey underneath but also a characeristic black flash towards the wingtips...
I don't think there are any other possible "black-headed" gull species that would need to be dealt with... Adrian?
Hello all, No there are no other gulls to be considered. There is a small flock of up to seven of these that now seem to be resident in Scarborough. This shot was taken in early March so the bird is not yet in full plumage so the white face has not yet been lost.
Thirty years ago this bird was a lot less common along the English coasts than it is now, but it has gradually been spreading north.
Adrian, nice comment on the change from winter plumage