Thursday, 3 April 2014
Where there are bacon butties in the fresh air (see yesterday's post), there are almost bound to be gulls, specifically black-headed gulls. They have a magnificent Latin name : Chroicocephalus ridibundus. These sociable birds are far from being 'sea-gulls' as they are found inland in quarrelsome, noisy flocks wherever there is food to be scavenged. Resident and breeding in Britain, they can be confusing to identify as they change their plumage between winter and summer. This adult is already sporting its summer plumage. In winter it will lose its black (or chocolate brown) head in favour of a white head with a black spot beside its eye. Juveniles are more mottled, like the ringed bird below. Anyway, beware of being gull-ible - they are bold (I couldn't photograph many birds with my kit lens as such close quarters) and they can easily snatch food from the hand of the unwary picnicker.