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Juv. Gull - NE UK (1 Viewer)

Mark Harper

World Birder
I always struggle with juvenile Lesser Black-backed, Yellow-legged and Caspian at this time of year. These were taken today on the coast at Whitburn. Any help appreciated.

Thanks Mark


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Always finding a way to go off topic...
United Kingdom
1st-summer Caspian to me, looks pretty long-legged. Do you have any other pics of it next to other gulls?

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Mark,

looks like a juvenile YLG too me. Please note:
  • what seems to be a pale underwing in the thumbnail, is a overexposed picture of a darker underwing (with strongly barred axillaries but details are burned out. No offence you know)
  • head pattern with extensive washed mask is typical for a YLG
  • really dark tertials with just a pale edge is also good for YLG (and LBBG), some (???) juvenile Caspian Gulls have a pattern on the tertial edges (variation? Dont know)
  • venetian-blind effect on inner primaries is just within variation for YLG (I have seen a similar juvenile YLG in SW-Geermany some dasy ago.
  • your bird give a jizz/shape like the YLG I have seen the last days in SW-Germany (you know, I struggle to overcome my lazy jizz iD of this species in SW-Germany)
  • your bird lacks the dark shins of juvenile LBBG
But like you, I hope for comments from Lou and others

lou salomon

the birdonist
It is a juvenile YLG, indeed. However, the 'best' feature has not been mentioned by Alexander, it's tail pattern with a contrasting and narrow tail band tapering towards corners plus very clean, almost unmarked white bases to tail feathers. careful with the dark mask: this can be shown by fresh juvenile Caspian also but usually is more extended and not as contrasting dark around eye. And yes, a few Caspian Gulls also have narrow tertial crescents - in this bird there are some unusual white subterminal blobs to upper tertials, inner greater coverts and even to inner primaries, usually not shown (by any taxon). Venetian blind or, in other words, extent of pale surfaces on inner webs to inner primaries are about average for YLG (less so in LBBG, more so in Caspian Gull).

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