One for you birders – hello Lynn!!! – adult Black-headed Gull in winter plumage, flying over a Coot, on the freshwater of a local reservoir.

Fieldmarks for the gull: red legs; red, black-tipped bill; the black mark behind the eye; the white blaze on the leading edge of the wing.

And the Coot: actually the Eurasian Coot; prominent white shield on the forehead, and bill white too – and never any red nodules (that’s what the fieldguide calls them!) above the white forehead shield.

Other recent bird picturesย are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 .

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to open a (rather grainy!) even larger version.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format to give 450mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 18 Oct 2019.


  1. Hello back, Adrian! The other day I was in a park at the edge of the island, camera & binocs in hand, scanning the water, when a serious birder walked up with his scope & tripod. He was a very nice guy as it turned out, and he tried to teach me about our local gulls. I confessed to him that gull identification seemed a lot easier on the east coast. Being from NY, he agreed that US east coast gulls are easier to sort out. (I thought, good, I don’t sound totally idiotic). He said a problem here is hybridization, which adds another layer to already confusing winter and sub-adult plumages. I just threw up my hands and said, “Look, there’s a Great blue heron”, and “Hear that oystercatcher?” (easy species on both coasts). ๐Ÿ™‚ At least I won’t feel so bad about failing to ID gulls, or not even trying now. Cheers!


    • Haha, well done you! I continue to love birds very much, but must say that I avoid “serious” birding and birders like the plague – I would HATE to be involved in all of that again, photography is so much more creative and rewarding >>> and the resulting images so much more satisfying than species lists!!! ๐Ÿ™‚


    • This is quite a small gull, its flight almost tern-like, not like the bigger Herring and Lesser Black-backed beasts, and neither of those have the blazing white forewing – in spring it gets a dark brown hood – so its not black-headed at all! ๐Ÿ™‚


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