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Yellow-legged Gull? - Scotland

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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 07:16   #1
Cristian Mihai
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Yellow-legged Gull? - Scotland

http://www.talk.gull-research.org/vi....php?f=5&t=532
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 07:45   #2
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hi cristian,

now trying it here, after the gull-people have refused to comment, hm?
i'll give it a try anyway. while primary pattern, esp. the amount and distribution of black on wingtip is perfectly ok for a michahellis as is the red orbital and the (even dull) yellow legs, i didn't like something in its "facial expression" from the beginning - i know this is very subjective - head shape with rel. weak bill and eyes somehow don't ring the bells for a normal female YLG. also it could have brighter yellow legs and a bit of red on upper mandible. and: p10 mirror is odd - somehow similar to common gull in its diagonal cut edge.
all these made me hesitate to call it a definite YLG, esp. in scotland where i think it is not a common sight.

now as for subspecies, i'm sure it would be arrogant to assess this bird to lusitanicus. variation within nominate YLG is large enough to have a hard time ID-ing a lusitanicus outside its normal range, even though the paler mantle and lighter built could suggest this ssp..

if not a pure mich - i can't think of any other hybrid combo than argenteus x mich, but this is really hard to prove! you see, suggestions. might well be a pure female YLG, with slight oddities but as a county recorder i'd be cautious in scotland with this bird. it could even be an extreme yellow-legged argenteus HG with a lot of black in wingtip, but for such extremes in HG you might ask peter, chris, derek, steve or the dutch gull folks.
my two pence..
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 08:18   #3
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I believe I have been seeing this bird since about October last year when I initially took it as an Argentatus (without seeing primary pattern). However in December I got shots of its primary pattern and noticed the large amount of black, this along with the heavily streaked head and neck got me confused. Hybrid seemed to be the best option though Im not sure what combination.

Some pics from December can be seen here (though I now believe it to be an adult bird):
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=190450

and I can add some more shots later tonight which shows its yellowy/pink legs compared with the nearby Herring.

Gavin

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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 08:34   #4
lou salomon
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thanks a lot gavin.
primary pattern looks identic and also its "face" and structure. i also believe it to be the same bird. good to see how such a difficult case in march, in basic plumage looks much more like a herring gull. anyway not a pure michahellis! either an odd argenteus (peter adriaens might tell if this amount of black in argenteus is tolerable), or a hybrid teus x graellsii or teus x mich. certainly looks odd.
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 08:39   #5
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Hi Gavin,

All I can say is this: When it was younger it looked more like a Herring Gull...
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 09:58   #6
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The Scotland gull is not a Yellow-legged, not michahellis anyway. Whether it could be lusitanius or not is impossible to be certain of, I guess. There might be other suggestions, lots of black on the outer primaries, possible Herring x LBBG...
Interesting with those very obvious white tonguetips.

Another canidate, according to this.

http://northernrustic.blogspot.com/2...-december.html

Some adults at the end here:

http://www.aranzadi-zientziak.org/fi...rilla-esp.html

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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 14:42   #7
lou salomon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JANJ View Post
yeah, according to martin garner who is a succesful finder of uncommon taxons but in the case of the stoke newington bird it looks like the much more common possibility in britain: LBBG x HG. my 2 pence for this reasoning are:
- large apical spots as in herring gull (mich on average with smaller primary tips)
- no p5 mark!
- dull yellow legs
- short legs!
- all white p10 tip (this is strange for a hybrid too but possible in all 3 taxons i guess?)
- darker upperparts than i'd xpect in a lusitanicus although this is tricky
- primary projection rel. short (HG genes)

without guarantee to be right of course
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 20:30   #8
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Certainly an interesting gull that would definitely catch me out if I saw it now without seeing its winter look.

Ive attached a couple of pics from October when it was still growing a few primaries, and also some shots from February this year showing less streaking, its small size compared to a rather large looking herring gull and its yellowy legs (when its hidden behind the other gull).
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