A black headed gull in winter plumage in September!

Now, this next photo has me guessing, a very recent visit to RSPB Conwy, an adult black headed gull in winter plumage, in September!

Now this has had me seriously questioning my ID, so any corrections or confirmations, information etc as always, gratefully received

Mike

Flickr Peak Rambler

  • www.birdforum.net/.../
    Comment associated with the photo
    "I love photographing black-headed gulls this time of the year; due to the moulting process, they all look different. The backward moult of the head produces this ephemeral collared appearance, which gives them this “wise old man” look."
    Date of photo 1st August 2021

    I've always preferred the terms "breeding plumage" and "non-breeding plumage".

    Not quite a definitive answer, but I think the adults start the transition into non-breeding plumage earlier than some may think. These may have got the moulting wiggle on.
  • Yes, 'winter plumage' is a bit of misnomer, BHGs have been in post-breeding plumage like this for several weeks now.
  • Guys, many thanks for your replies.

    While the answers may not be definitive, but then nature isn't all black and white, it does have shades of grey within its rules (if rules is the right wording), and I think you've both answered my question perfectly.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Mike, the BH Gulls coming into the roost at our local wetlands began turning up in "winter " plumage mid August and is still a mixed bag. We had 2 Gulls over the garden yesterday that still had almost full hoods so much that at a quick distant glance we thought they were Med Gulls, that would have been a good garden tick for us but it proved wrong

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    Wendy S said:
    Mike, the BH Gulls coming into the roost at our local wetlands began turning up in "winter " plumage mid August and is still a mixed bag. We had 2 Gulls over the garden yesterday that still had almost full hoods so much that at a quick distant glance we thought they were Med Gulls, that would have been a good garden tick for us but it proved wrong

    Cheers Pete.

    Primarily I wanted to ensure I was putting the right info with the photo on my Flickr pages, and my thanks to you and the others, have confirmed my thoughts.

    I guess one thing I've forgotten over the years with not having dogs around (I used to keep and obedience work border collies), they often start their moult to winter down around September time, though you'd think they were in moult 24/7/365(or 6).

    I was just having a convo with my wife saying how I miss the dogs (photo below of the two collies I had circa 1990, in my slimmer days...), though it wouldn't be practical for me to keep them today.

    For those wondering, the leads were on them, tethered and slack because they were trained. Though they were obedient and well behaved, I took no chances.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Mike, I used to love walking/running the hills with dogs, back in the early days when I was in Scotland I started the basic training for search dog with a Red Setter called Star. I had to give up on that as,like many people in the Highlands, I was working two jobs and did not have time to dedicate to the task. The local bobby took her on from me but the dog did not have the stamina required. It was an interesting time though and I attended quite a few training sessions later on as a "dogsbody"

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    Wendy S said:
    Mike, I used to love walking/running the hills with dogs, back in the early days when I was in Scotland I started the basic training for search dog with a Red Setter called Star. I had to give up on that as,like many people in the Highlands, I was working two jobs and did not have time to dedicate to the task. The local bobby took her on from me but the dog did not have the stamina required. It was an interesting time though and I attended quite a few training sessions later on as a "dogsbody"

    Training and working dogs can be hard, but is very rewarding, especially when out on a relaxed walk, and I know what you mean about work taking time up.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler