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Yellow-legged Gull michahellis 074S, June
2002 & 2003, Etaples,
A 3cy michahellis
showing pale pinkish legs, a clear yellow base
of the bill, a rather dark iris, a red gonydeal spot (although obscured by the black
bill-band) and complete grey upper-parts (mantle and scapular region). The
orbital ring is obviously red. This
bird was ringed near Marseille, S France, probably in year 2000. When data
are available, more information will be added.
Most grey feathers in the wing-coverts are in better condition than the
barred feathers, and apparently moulted later, i.e. in the partial autumn
moult in 2cy (September-October). The inner greater coverts, the inner medians,
a few lower lesser and some lesser coverts appear plain
upper tertials are at least third generation as well, maybe even fourth
generation, depending on the extend of the partial post-juvenile moult and
the partial autumn moult as 2cy.
The tail is complete and all rectrices
are second generation. The primary moult stage is P5 old, P4 missing. By
mid-June, several 3cy michahellis were observed with primary moult
score P3 missing / P4 old or with P4 missing / P5 old. Records in the
surveys are too low to extract any conclusions, but 3cy birds are on
average 1.5-1.8 primaries behind compared with 2cy birds. Extrapolation of
figures can be read from the following table, with the conclusion that 3cy
michahellis primary score will be at about 4.9-5.4 by mid-June.
moult score in 3cy Larus michahellis, Etaples, NW
France on June 28 2003 (09:00 h, low tide).
= 84; m old P = 4.5; SD old P = 0.73.
Group: 3x 3cy michahellis not scored; total michahellis
P6-P10 = P6-P10 are still old and present.
? fg = fully grown not known. Often referring to sleeping
birds with folded wings, so fully grown primary score most
probably P6 or less.
fg = fully grown. In our field surveys, a primary is 'fully
grown' when it exceeds the previous feather in the folded
wing. Actually, such 'fully grown' feathers may have to
grow a little, but under field circumstances, it's very
difficult to find out if the waxy sheath, which is the
standard measurement for fully grown primaries, is still
3cy identified on absence of P10 mirror & bare parts
In the wing-coverts, active moult has
been suspended in this individual. There are no moult gaps and the grey
wing-coverts and tertials which were included in the partial moult are
already slightly abraded.
top image: michahellis 074S
3cy, June 14 2002, Etaples.
bottom image: michahellis 074S
4cy, June 28 2003, Etaples.
was seen again at Etaples by late June 2003. The primary moult score:
P6-P10 still old. P1-P3 are fully grown (P3 obviously longer than P2 but
an inch or so to grown). Dark primary coverts. The complete tail is
present and plain white. Note the limited black markings on the bill and
the brown abraded wing-coverts.