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Yellow legged gull? Black mark on beak? Istanbul (1 Viewer)

babuccu

Active member
Turkey
Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing great. I photographed these two individuals this morning in Istanbul/Turkey. I think they are yellow legged gulls but they appear to have a black mark on their beaks. Is this a hormonal phenomenon or something regarding the age or the season?

Thanks a lot.
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello,
again I hope for a deeper answer from Lou, Steve, smiths or others, but a feature of older immature YLG (against Herring Gull) is this three-coloured bill:
adult-like bright yellow, a red spot and a contrasting black tip or band.

Therefore, your first bird looks good for a 2cycle YLG to me.

The second bird is harder for me: first jizz is dominated by a long and slender, parallel-edged bill. The position of the eye seems surely shifted by the position of the head, with birds looking away from the camera, but it ads to the impression of a Caspian Gull.
Yes, eye is pale, but bird seems to lack a red eye-ring (many/some? older immature YLG have already developed a deep red one). I see dark shadows on the tertials (as a sign of immaturity?). And the white mirror on p10 is surely too small for a Caspian Gull, even an older immature?

One last thought: I have such a pale, colourless eye in a few birds, that looked otherwise perfectly for a Caspian Gull in nE_Germany.
Conclusion? I hope for others to jump in. But if forced, I would ID this bird as a YLG, too, but prepared to be corrected as always with large Gulls. Thanks!
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
With pink legs?

I hate Gulls, just too hard!

Like you, I love full on adults and some of the easier juveniles but you'll enjoy the Armenians at the bathing pool near the start of Lady's Mile. That bill shape and pattern is really sumptuous. Couple of Penduline Tits reported nearby recently.
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Andy, Pianoman, Pat and Ratt,

thank you for jumping in. I havent experience with Armenian Gull and its a species, I would surely overlook in Germany. Does expert comments like in this thread and the new ID-Guide change this situation? I hope so.

And for the second Gull: pale yellow legs with a shift towards pink, like this bird (yes; I see pinkish and yellowish on my screen, too) is easy within variation for older immature YLG, I see in SW-Germany.
But yes, the word hybrid isnt a bad one with large Gulls. And identifying a Caspian x YLG is far above my level of experience.

Just one disagreement with you: I love Gulls, there is still so much to learn for me.
 

ratt

Well-known member
Hello Andy, Pianoman, Pat and Ratt,

thank you for jumping in. I havent experience with Armenian Gull and its a species, I would surely overlook in Germany. Does expert comments like in this thread and the new ID-Guide change this situation? I hope so.

And for the second Gull: pale yellow legs with a shift towards pink, like this bird (yes; I see pinkish and yellowish on my screen, too) is easy within variation for older immature YLG, I see in SW-Germany.
But yes, the word hybrid isnt a bad one with large Gulls. And identifying a Caspian x YLG is far above my level of experience.

Just one disagreement with you: I love Gulls, there is still so much to learn for me.
I get frustrated by gulls. It seems that every time I think I learn something, it just gets blown out the water soon after. I could live 10 lifetimes and still not get there.
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Rat, Yes, me too: It seems that every time I think I learn something, it just gets blown out the water soon after. I could live 10 lifetimes and still not get there.

But that what I am interested in, and so I am glad Andy and others here jumped in, and helped me!
 

babuccu

Active member
Turkey
I am adding two more photos of the second individual where the legs are more visible; but still questionable in colour though B9703D40-D90D-485E-A573-2DF11CD5F86B.jpeg 🤨
 

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