Mediterranean Gull (L. melanocephalus)

(last update: 21-10-2005)

Mediterranean Gull 3cy or adult, September 20 2002, Le Portel /Boulogne-sur-Mer, France (50.42N,1.34E).

This individual shows the fresh all white-grey plumage of most birds in mid-winter, after finishing the complete moult of the summer months. The bare part coloration in this individual is not typical for full adult Mediterranean Gull and may apply on 3cy birds: Iris dark brown, the orbital ring still not intense red but rather brownish, the bill is not typical adult-like red but rather dark orangey-red, not with a black bill-band but with a dark smudge. The legs are dark and dull reddish.
From late summer to September, a complete moult takes place, bringing birds into so-called "adult winter" plumage. The head pattern in this individual, after the complete moult, show a blackish mask behind the eye and single spots on the crown. The mantle, scapulars, tertials and all the wing-coverts have been replaced for plain pale grey feathers. 
The secondaries are completely white. The new adult primaries are shiny pearly-grey, flashing white at a distance. There is a black line along the outer-web of P10 (and sometimes on P9 as well). Secondaries, under-wing and tail are completely white.