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YLG 1cy August
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photo 8645: Yellow-legged Gull michahellis
4cy, January 04 2002, Le Portel, France (50.43N,01.37E).
A sub-adult michahellis
in 4cy as can be told by the very small white tips on the fresh outer
primaries and the vermiculate pattern in the centres of the lower tertials.
The white tip on P10 doesn't merge with the mirror but is
separated by a broad sub-terminal band and even P5 shows a broad patch of
black. Several features may indicate this bird is in 4cy (by January):
- The bill is not saturated yellow, but
pale yellow, especially towards the very tip and the base of the bill.
- The bill has an obvious black mark on
the upper and lower mandible near the gonydeal angle.
- The red spot on the gonydeal angle
doesn't reach the cutting edge of the lower mandible. In older birds
this red spot extends on the upper mandible.
- The iris is peppered or speckled,
unlike the plain yellow iris in most older birds (5+cy
- The wing-coverts have a brown hue,
especially visible in the outer greater coverts, median coverts and
lesser coverts in the carpal edge. The second and fourth greater
coverts, which were moulted early in the season show paler fringes, a
brown hue on the centres and dark markings towards the tips.
- The lower tertials and outer
secondaries show patterns commonly found in third generation feathers:
the tertials have dark centres with vermiculate spaghetti pattern
towards the fringes and the outer secondaries show a brown hue on the
centres, unlike the plain grey fourth generation secondaries found in
- The primary coverts are just visible
beneath the central greater coverts and show an all-dark centre with a
small paler crescent on the tip. In older birds these primary coverts
are all grey or at least show a grey base with sometimes some black
(an accentuated shaft). Black in the primary coverts in 5+cy birds is
often related to the size of the black on the primaries, which may
"extend" on the primary coverts. In this individual the
primary coverts are clearly not grey-based but typical third
- The white tip on P10 doesn't merge
with the mirror but is separated by a broad sub-terminal band and even
p5 shows a broad patch of black. In older birds the black sub-terminal
band on p10 is much narrower and the white mirror on P10 broader. The
tips on fresh primaries are larger in adult birds.
- The tail show a small black spot on
the tip of one of the central tail-feathers.