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Slender- billed Gull - Chroicocephalus genei

Slender-billed Gull 1

Slender-billed Gull - 1st winter.  Salinas de Tavira. Note very pale iris, long orange-red bill and diffuse ear-spot never as pronounced as in Black-headed Gull.

This is another gull that until quite recently was regarded as a rarity in Portugal. Since around the turn of the century, however, it has become a regular non-breeding visitor to the Eastern Algarve, although it remains distinctly unusual anywhere west of Faro and is a rarity in the rest of Portugal. Superficially resembling Black-headed Gull with which it often joins while feeding when swimming on flooded salt pans, with a little experience it can easily be picked out by its long-neck and distinctly flattened forehead and long bill. It does not possess a dark hood in summer plumage when adults generally acquire an attractive pink flush, of varying intensity, to the underparts and inner underwing.

Slender-billed Gull 2

Adult summer. Salinas de Tavira. The red bill becomes darker in breeding plumage, some appearing black as in the individual.

Slender-billed Gull 3

Adult in flight illustrating similar wing-pattern to Black-headed Gull. Salinas de Tavira.

 

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