Gull ID ... Monday 2nd August 2010

Neither of us can claim to be very good at identifying immature gulls and this bird seen at Holmethorpe Sand Pits, Surrey this morning has stumped the both of us.

About the size of a Lesser Black-backed Gull, its initial appearance was of a white-headed, pale plumaged immature gull with an all-black bill and quite long legs.

We are still uncertain as to whether this is just a bleached and abraded Herring Gull (although the all-black bill would suggest that it is not), a Yellow-legged Gull or (as an outside chance) a Caspian Gull.

What appears to be a whitish band on the bill in some of the photos was, in fact, a feather that became stuck to the bill after the bird preened.

We would really appreciate your opinions as to the true identity of this bird.
Please leave a comment if you think you can identify it.

Paul & Graham


  1. I saw similar bird on Seaford Beach yesterday which I think was a second summer Herring Gull. maybe the case here?

  2. Thanks Liam, you are probably right.
    29 years of birding and I still can't get my head around immature gulls!!!!

  3. I'm no gull expert but the first photo and the video would have me believing that the bird is a Caspian Gull.
    Enjoying your blog.
    John D