Your second species of gull with its pink
legs and yellow bill with a red spot on the lower mandible looks like a Herring
Gull (Larus argentatus) but is
probably what is now called the Vega Gull (L.vegae).
What looks like streaking on the neck of your photographed bird separate this “new”
species from the “old” Herring Gull. Recent taxonomic studies on
the larger gull species has led to a lot of splitting and creation of new
species. I don’t know if there has been a recent field guide to the birds
but if there is, maybe you could check that out. Having said all this someone
out there may prove me wrong.
As for the breeding plumage of the
Black-headed Gull, the top of the head, from the dark patch shown in your
photograph, down to the mid throat area becomes completely blackish. It has
been recorded on probably less than 10 times, mostly in the NT and WA.
Sent: Tuesday, 17 October 2006
This is indeed a photo of a
Black-headed Gull, although I have no idea as to how eclipse plumages affect
the colouration of the bird. However, I do know that the photograph was taken
near Tokyo in
January. Any thoughts about the next photo...I'm not sure of the identity of the
bird. Similar place and time.
P.S. Closer to home, would
someone enlighten me as to the differences between a Skylark and a Pipit?