Black Headed Gull (Laris ridibundus)

Mr and Mrs, side by side so you can compare; not much to distinguish them is there? The male, at the back, is slightly larger and has a slightly more stout bill. It has slightly more chocolate on its face.

In fact, despite being Black Headed Gulls they are not black headed gulls at all! The colouring is chocolate brown rather than black and it is their face, not their head, that is coloured. A common gull in these parts, nesting on Brownsea Island and around Poole Harbour and various other coastal locations where there are shingle banks or islands.

It will not be long now before they begin to moult and they will lose that lovely dark head plumage and they will become white faced with just a dark comma shape behind the ear.

In winter the numbers will be reinforced by incomers from further north.

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