Breeding adult differs from the smaller Hartlaub's gull in having a more extensive grey hood, a brighter red bill and legs, and pale silver-yellow (not dark) eyes. Both common black-headed and Franklin's gulls are smaller, have very different upperwing patterns and lack the dark underwing of grey-headed gull.
juvenile, compared with juvenile Hartlaub's gull, has more extensive smudges on the head, a dark-tipped piunkish orange bill, darker upperwings and more black on its tail.
Open coast, and coastal and freshwater wetlands.
A typical 'karrh' and 'pok-pok'.