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Mediterranean Gull - Ichthyaetus melanocephalus

Mediterranean Gull1

Mediterranean Gull - adult moulting to winter. Salinas de Olhão

Sixty years ago the breeding range of this handsome gull was restricted to south-east Europe and Asia Minor, namely, Greece, Romania, the Crimea in Russia and the shores and islands of the Black Sea. Such was its isolation that at least one eminent ornithologist of the time considered it could be heading towards extinction. Fortunately, his pessimism was unfounded, although by the early 1970’s the population had fallen to only 17,000 breeding pairs. Thereafter, range expansion occurred both eastwards to the Caspian Sea and westwards as far as the U.K. and the world population now exceeds 250,000. It is a winter visitor to the Algarve and is best looked for on the salt pans of Castro Marim, Tavira and Olhão and Lagoa de São Lourenço and Lagoa dos Salgados.

Mediterranean Gull 2

Mediterranean Gull - adult winter

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