|Hybrid Herring x LBBG? The bird in question is at the centre of the shot, sandwiched between two paler mantled Herring Gulls and with a darker mantled Lesser Black-backed Gull in front.|
|The darker grey mantle and yellow legs are visible in this shot|
Checking the gulls at Seafield, I approached the roost carefully. After about 10 minutes I noticed that a bird had arrived that had an interesting mantle shade - a Yellow-legged or hybrid Herring x Lesser Black-backed Gull shade. Slightly bulkier than the accompanying Herring Gulls its primary projection seemed long and had reduced white tips. At this stage I was convinced that when it moved into shallower water it would show nice yellow legs - and so it did. I assumed that it was one of the same birds that I saw at the site in February, but closer examination shows that today's bird is a sub-adult with some dark marks on the primary coverts and a dark iris. So, the third or fourth of these hybrids (presumably)that I have seen this winter/spring - this one even more like a Yellow-legged Gull than the last in my opinion - just would need a little bit more black on primaries 8, 7 and 6 to convince me. Any comments?
|This wing stretch shows grey tongues cutting into the black on the underwing more than would be expected on a YLG. The upperwing pattern is close to YLG with a reasonable black band on primary 5 (note P10/9 are overlapping on this image)|
|This shot shows the mantle shade nicely compared to both Herring and LBBG.|