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Yellow-legged gulls, Nottinghamshire, UK, Aug 2021 (1 Viewer)


United Kingdom
Hi all, I'm organising some old photos. These are from 15th August 2021 at Langford Lowfields (Phase 3).

There were three YLGs reported to be present at the time, and I think the first two photos probably show three YLGs, one great black-backed, and one lesser black-backed. The third photo shows one of the possible YLGs (not sure which one from the other photos). I don't have any other photos or remember anything else unfortunately.

Do you think any of these poor photos are enough to confirm the ID of at least one of them?

Confidently separating them from yellow-legged herring gulls is quite difficult! Although I'm not sure how likely/possible three of these would be. The back colour on photo 2/3 looks good for YLG I think (photo 1 lit by the sun too much to be sure), as does the streaking behind the eye on photo 3, I think. The bill on photo 3 looks more like herring gull size/shape to me though. And my attempts to assess the primary pattern of these sitting gulls were unsuccessful...

1: 1.JPG 2: 2.JPG 3: 3.JPG

Hi James,
It is always good to be cautious with large gulls, but, in this case, I really think that these birds are all adult type Yellow-legged Gulls. Upperparts tone, the nature and extent of the head streaking, long legs, flat crowns, the full chest of the right hand bird in image 2, long primary projection and so on are all good for this species. Even without seeing the spread wing pattern, these don't really strike me as 'yellow-legged Herring Gulls'...the ones most like YLGU are Baltic argentatus, which would probably be very unlikely in August and not many stray west anyway...or Herring x Lesser Black-backed hybrids.

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