Yellow-legged Gull- Geelpootmeeuw (L. michahellis): 1cy August

(last update: 08 december 2003)


YLG 1cy May
YLG 1cy June
YLG 1cy July
YLG 1cy August
YLG 1cy September
YLG 1cy October
YLG 1cy November
YLG 1cy December

YLG 2cy January
YLG 2cy February
YLG 2cy March
YLG 2cy April
YLG 2cy May
YLG 2cy June
YLG 2cy July
YLG 2cy August
YLG 2cy September
YLG 2cy October
YLG 2cy November
YLG 2cy December

YLG 3cy January
YLG 3cy February
YLG 3cy March
YLG 3cy April
YLG 3cy May
YLG 3cy June
YLG 3cy July
YLG 3cy August
YLG 3cy September
YLG 3cy October
YLG 3cy November
YLG 3cy December

YLG sub-ad Jan.
YLG sub-ad Feb.
YLG sub-ad March
YLG sub-ad April
YLG sub-ad May
YLG sub-ad June
YLG sub-ad July
YLG sub-ad Aug.
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YLG adult January
YLG adult February
YLG adult March
YLG adult April
YLG adult May
YLG adult June
YLG adult July
YLG adult August
YLG adult September
YLG adult October
YLG adult November
YLG adult December

Photo 12: Yellow-legged Gull 1cy August 24 2000, Etaples, France. 

For identification of 1cy Yellow-legged gull in flight it's best to concentrate on :
- the absence of a clear  'window' (as in Herring Gull argentatus and to a lesser extend in Pontic Gull cachinnans) in the inner hand;
- the wedge-shaped tail-band that contrasts with the white rump and upper tail coverts (on average smallest tail-band of 1cy West European large white-headed gulls).

Clearly, this is a broad-winged gull, with a relatively dark inner hand, although the inner webs are slightly paler and some paler spots are visible on both webs. Hence, the wing is not as intense dark as in 1cy Lesser Black-backed Gulls (LBBG, graellsii). The tail-band is broad in the centre and gradually smaller at the outer rectrices. Black markings can be found at the demarcation line of the rectrices and the upper-tail coverts are coarsely marked on a white base. 
As in many YLG's in August, a considerable part of the scapulars has already been moulted to 2nd generation feathers, while the median and lesser coverts are in active moult. 
Note also the heavy black bill and pale head.
This combination only fits YLG and excludes Herring Gull (with, at least, a paler window at the inner primaries and a broad tail-band) as well as LBBG (with amongst others, a broad tail-band and all-dark inner primaries). The latter species has on average a narrower wing with a more pointed hand and normally doesn't show such an advanced moult stage of coverts. The amount of black on the tail of the gull in the picture doesn't necessarily excludes LBBG, but more commonly, LBBG's show finer 'freckling' on the tail-base instead of the coarse markings as in this bird.