Photo 7: Yellow-legged
Gull 1cy August 25 2000, Le Portel / Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.
Telling a juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull from
a Yellow-legged Gull is not always straightforward.
Although the fresh condition of the plumage
in the picture advocates LBBG, one has to be aware that some michahellis
exhibit a surprisingly fresh plumage at the end of August with no sign of moult
to 1st winter plumage. Presumably, these late moulting birds originate
from the northern extreme of michahellis breeding range, where egg
hatching date is later than in colonies around the Mediterranean.
In such a case identification should be based on as many features as possible:
structural characters, brown tone of centres of upper-parts, coloration of
under-parts, tail-pattern, pattern of inner hand and leg colour. See also the
identification summary in the July