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Common Gull - Larus canus
Detailed here are a number of images of first-winter Common Gulls showing the range of variation in plumages. Some vary from rather clean looking birds to some heavily marked individuals.
Common Gull, First-winter: Westcliff Seafront, Essex - 21st March 2008:
Note the small head, large centrally positioned eye, slender two-toned bill.

The base colour is white though the there is fine streaking on the head, bolder spotting on the neck sides and nape and greyish chevrons on the breast sides. The chevrons become sparcer towards the rear of the bird with the ear belly, vent and under-tail coverts completely unmarked bright white.

The 'saddle' is mid grey but entirely plain as paler feather tips and some darker feather centres are visible. The greater, median and inner lesser coverts are faded off whitish-grey which contrasts with the darker brown e;bow and marginal coverts.

The upper-tail and upper-tail coverts are plain white and there is a broad black tail band. The dark, whitish edged, primaries extend well beyond the tail tip.

The legs are pale pinkish.
Common Gull, First-winter: Nimmo's Pier, Galway, Ireland - February 2009:
Compared with the previous bird this individual still has many retained juvenile scapulars whilst the second generation grey uppers are plain.

The wing-coverts are darker and not so faded with obvious dark shaft streaks to at least the median and lesser coverts.

There is less dark chevrons to the breast sides compared to the other bird however the bill is typical.
Common Gull, First-winter: Nimmo's Pier, Galway, Ireland - February 2009:
Another variation.

This bird has rather denser streaking around the head, except on the chin and throat, bolder blotching on the hind-neck and compact chevrons on the beast and breast sides becoming more diffuse towards the lower breast, almost in a define line.

The grey upper-parts are uniform and the wing-coverts are faded and, along with the tertials, worn and frayed.

The bill is typically small and slender; the eye is rather central in a small rounded head.
Common Gull, First-winter: Basildon, Essex - 19th March 2006:
Here we have a very well marked individual bold dark brown chevrons extending well over the breast and down to the belly. The streaking around the head is also extensive and heavy with the exception being the chin and throat.

The bill is slender and bi-coloured with the basal two thirds having a bluish cast.

The wing lesser coverts are well marked with bold dark brown centres and whitish fringes with the median coverts being paler with dark shaft streaks and arrow heads; the greater coverts are more uniform plain pale greyish-brown.

The under-tail coverts show several dark brown spots.

The primaries are typically very long.
Common Gull, First-winter: Basildon, Essex - 19th March 2006:
The bird to the left is the same as in the previous image. Here this noticeably small, slender and rather long winged bird can be seen in close proximity to a more typical individual.

The darker bird has replaced fewer of its scapulars than the other bird whilst the wing covets are clearly less faded. The basal colour to the bill is also different with the darker bird being bluish whilst the paler bird its pinkish.
Common Gull, First-winter: Basildon, Essex - 19th March 2009:
A fairly typical individual for the time of year.
Common Gull, First-winter: Undisclosed Site, Essex - February 2009:
This in flight shot shows the under-wing patterning, just. The underwing coverts are rather dark brown whilst the outer primaries on the right wing contrast with the paler grey inner primaries.

The extent of brown chevrons and mottling below can be seen with little to none extending back to the rear belly. There is a limited amount of brown markings on the under-tail coverts and the black-tail band is fairly narrow.
Common Gull, First-winter: Nimmo's Pier, Galway, Ireland - February 2009: 
Upper-wing pattern can be clearly seen here.