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Gull, Grey-headed

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Bosnimf
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Gull, Grey-headed

Unread postby Bosnimf » Mon May 01, 2006 10:50 pm

I know you do get them in Kruger, but I have never seen them. Until 24 April 2006, and of all places Nsemani, which I have past thousands of times before. There were 3 gulls and a White-winged Tern. Got a bad photo of the gulls, but the Tern kept on dodging my camera :lol: Have anyone seen gulls in the Park recently?

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Unread postby PAPA SMURF » Tue May 02, 2006 12:08 am

Hi Bosnimf
Photographically I like your photo very much.
From my reference books the Kruger is included in their distribution but has the residence status of uncommon. I also note that the Transvaal breeding cycle is from March to September and of interest is that they often use old Coot nests. With the good rainfall in the Park it could mean that they have moved in for the breeding period and may then move off to better/other feeding area's.
Well spotted and i hope others will post their sightings and then we may be able to establish a pattern

I don't often get to the Park and have no record of seeing them there from my few visits
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Unread postby naomi c » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:41 pm

So neat and clean - not a feather out of place!
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:22 pm

For those wanting to see these birds in Gauteng. Look no further than Austin Roberts in Midrand or the east rand of Gauteng. They are quite a common sighting nowadays.
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Unread postby Johann » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:46 pm

wildtuinman wrote:For those wanting to see these birds in Gauteng. Look no further than Austin Roberts in Midrand or the east rand of Gauteng. They are quite a common sighting nowadays.


Drop in at any roadhouse, order a milkshake (or whatever you fancy) and you're basically guaranteed a sighting. They are more common than a decent dagwood at most places, that's why we call them the roadhouse birds. :wink:
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Unread postby MarkWildDog » Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:34 pm

Greyheaded Gull
Larus cirrocephalus

Description
These gulls have a pale grey head, grey body and have a diagnostic upperwing pattern. The underwing is a dark grey colour with black wing tips. However, the grey hood of this gull is lost in winter, leaving just dark streaks. They breed in very large colonies, ranging from a hundred to a thousand. Breeding grounds include reedbeds and marshes. Two or three eggs can be found in a single nest and these birds are gregarious in winter. A breeding adult differs from the the more smaller Hartlaub's Gull by having a much more extensive grey hood, a more appealing and brighter red bill and legs and pale yellow eyes. Greyheaded Gulls in flights have broader wings which are held flatter than that of a Blackheaded Gull. Also they are larger and have different patterns to the Blackheaded and Franklin's Gulls. The Greyheaded has an extensively larger range that that of the Franklin's and Blackheaded as these birds have rarely been recorded in southern Africa.

Habitat
They are mostly uncommon birds, but locally abundant. They prefer open coast, coastal and wetland areas. Also, rarely seen at sea far from land. Their main range goes as far north as Gauteng in South Africa, with almost regular sightings being recorded even in KNP.

Females & Juveniles
Females and males are generally alike. The juveniles have greater and extensive smudges on the head, a bill which is coloured in pinkish orange with a dark tip, slightly more darker upperwings and darker tail than that of a juvenile Hartlaub's Gull. These gulls take two years to reach maturity. Juveniles have a black terminal tail band with more darker areas in the wings.

Calls
Very noisy when in colonies. Calls include a crow-like 'caw cow', 'karrh' and 'pok pok'.

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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:33 am

A portrait study...

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...and a juvenile in flight

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Unread postby Pjw » Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:58 pm

You can see them at eastgate shopping mall and the east rand mall.
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Re: Gull, Grey-headed

Unread postby Groovy » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:19 pm

I know this is not strictly Kruger Park news or sighting, but is pretty close to KNP, had a sighting of 4 Grey headed gulls on Nyaka dam, right in the middle, Approx 20 km's from Hazyview, probably 12 km west of KNP whilst fishing today. First for me.

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Tilandi » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:58 pm

Seen in the Free State
Image
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In the Welkom area Free State
Is it Common Black-headed Gulls?
And the brownish one in the center?
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby anne-marie » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:06 pm

:hmz: the brownish.... a young/juvenil :whistle:
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby DuQues » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:09 pm

The gulls.... Where did you see them?

To me, used to seeing gulls around, in Holland, I would say these were Common Black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus), the middle one a juvenile.
Indeed a totally common bird. In Holland that is, not in SA!

The grey spot at the ear is indicative of the species to me.
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:14 pm

Some pics we have of them in Holland:

Juveniles:

Image

Adult:

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Tilandi » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:17 pm

Gull seen in the Free State, Welkom area.

Thank you anne-marie, DuQues and GP :D
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby DuQues » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:25 pm

Mind you, I think this ID is not correct. It is very unlikely, that gull is very rare in SA.
We'll give a few friends a heads-up. ;)
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