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Great Black-headed Gull Gull - Larus ichthyaetus
First-years

Great Black-headed Gull: 1st-year, Tirat Zevi Fish Ponds, Beat Shean Valley, Israel, 23rd March 2012

Note the characteristic head and bill patterning of this distinctive immature gull. The black smudging behind the eye and white eye-lids recalls Mediterranean Gull, just on a larger scale.

The bill is large and pale horn-yellow coloured with large black tip, save for the very tip. The black extends backwards along the cutting edge to roughly the basal end of the nostril.

The chest is high and full with a distinct kink.

Note also the blotching on the lower hind-neck and nape.

This bird is fairly well advanced for a first year bird and could be aged as a second-winter except that the outer tertials are still brown, the greater coverts are dull brown and the primaries are also brown and lack white mirrors.

The legs are long and pale fleshy yellow.
Great Black-headed Gull: 1st-year, Tirat Zevi Fish Ponds, Beat Shean Valley, Israel, 23rd March 2012

This individual is a little less advanced in its moult as can be seen by the mor
e extensive retain brown wing coverts and tertials.

It is also a slightly chunkier bird and pronounced 'keel' or hanging ear belly that is more typical of Caspian Gull.

The bill has the large black tip whilst the base is slightly pinker in tone. As with the above note the distinctive eye mask and mottling on the lower hind-neck and nape.
Here the two birds from above are side by side showing the differences in bulk and structure, the left bird is possibly a male, and level of moult progression
Great Black-headed Gull: 1st-year, Tirat Zevi Fish Ponds, Beat Shean Valley, Israel, 23rd March 2012

This bird had a distinctly unwell appearance and barely shifted during the observation. 

The plumage is more worn that the birds above but the same typical appearance of the species at this age is apparent but note the virtual lack of 'bandit' eye mask here.

Even so it lacks a Herring Gull type feel to it, most due to its jizz and head shape, and distinctive square looking head with peaks on the forehead and rear crown lend to unique appearance.
Great Black-headed Gull: 1st-year, Neve Etan Fish Ponds, Beat Shean Valley, Israel, 24th March 2013

Note the fresh grey median coverts and smattering of new lesser coverts contrasting with the white fringed greater coverts, dark brown leading edge of the wing and the dark primaries and primary coverts of the upper wing.

The inner primaries show pale greyish-white on the inner web.

The underwing is quite bright white and relatively unmarked and the 'MedGull' like bandit mask is evident.