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Thread: 1st winter YLG?

  1. #1
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    Default 1st winter YLG?

    Hi all,

    A few gulls about in Dartford, Kent, today including this individual. I'm happy that it's a Yellow-legged Gull but would appreciate a few more 'nods' (or otherwise).

    Tertials look good and the white edges don't appear to meet the greater coverts. Head shape good too and bill is long, broad and rectangular. Wing coverts darker than on a typical Herring and the pattern of the scapulars look good too with thin dark shafts and narrow 'double headed anchors'.

    Cheers,

    Andy.
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  2. #2
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    Hi Andy,
    A very interesting gull! I must admit to being somewhat uneasy when faced with a less than classic 1st-w Yellow-legged Gull candidate, and it is possible that I am personally letting some such good birds go unidentified, but I will admit that I would struggle to call the subject bird as YLGU for certain, even though it may well be one. My main concern would be to exclude a paler-headed LBBG: the tertial pattern and even the greater covert pattern can be seen on that species also, and the 2nd generation scapulars are quite dull, but my main concern with this being a YLGU is the (apparent) lack of 2nd gen coverts. Most (but, admittedly, not all) YLGU will have gained variable numbers of such coverts in the post-juvenile moult well before the end of October: I once left a very good candidate, which had the 'right' inner primary and tail pattern also in flight, go due to a lack of 2nd gen coverts (and relatively distant views). That said, I could see a YLGU looking just like this, I suppose: gulls, eh?
    Shots of the bird on land would help, of course...I find that most large gulls look far more distinctive when not swimming...as would images of the spread wing, so I hope that you pick this bird up again, or get informed opinion from someone more experienced with 1st-w YLGU than myself.
    Regards,
    Harry

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Hussey View Post
    My main concern would be to exclude a paler-headed LBBG:
    Nail on head, Harry. That's the reason I decided to post it on here. The inner primaries appeared quite dark. There were other 1st winter LBBGs present but they were typically dark, greyer with larger dark markings in the scapulars. But they all had weaker, droop tipped bills too.

    I did film the bird so when I get a chance, I'll edit the film and post it on here.

    Cheers,

    Andy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JanJ's Avatar
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    Although I can understand Harry's concern, it would not be impossible to find a 1cy michahellis at this time of year, or even later, with a full set of juvenile coverts and tertials. Maybe the lightning makes the gull more brownish, meaning, scapulars, which do somehow lack the obvious contrast with the coverts, as in this one , which also have a full set of first generation coverts, give and take in the begining of Oct:

    http://gull-research.org/ylg1cy2cy/1cyoct/micha6623.htm

    End of Oct:

    http://waarneming.nl/foto/view/1660499

    The reason why I would suggest a michahellis for Andy's gull is the amount of wear in the covert region in combination with the nearly full sett of second generation scapulars.

    Any more pic?

    JanJ

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    Video grabs and pics.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member JanJ's Avatar
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    Impressive michahellis tail pattern

    JanJ

  7. #7
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    mich for me too; I like the warmth on the scaps that some michs show - though it still has the classic mich pattern

    see image at http://www.surfbirds.com/forum/showp...4&postcount=18

    Brian S

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian S View Post
    mich for me too; I like the warmth on the scaps that some michs show - though it still has the classic mich pattern

    see image at http://www.surfbirds.com/forum/showp...4&postcount=18

    Brian S
    Hi all,

    Many thanks for the feedback regarding this bird.

    There were six more Yellow-legged Gulls on the small gravel pit yesterday including three 1st calendars.

    ID should be OK for each but feedback, as always, is appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Andy.
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  9. #9
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    Three more birds.

    1st calendar and 2nd calendar together (2 pics)
    Another 2nd calendar
    An adult with 1st calendar Herring
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    Last edited by andy lawson; November 7th, 2010 at 01:43 PM.

  10. #10
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    And the final bird. A slightly greyer 1st calendar.

    Also another eight birds on the Thames. On the walk back from the Thames to the gravel pit we flushed a Stone Curlew! Not seen one in November before.

    Cheers,

    Andy.
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