I came across this small mucky looking Yellow-Legged Gull the other day on the Thames foreshore at North Greenwich. The ring itself being yellow made me think of recent photos of rung Caspian Gulls and how this bird may have come from that part of the world rather than other young YLG ring recoveries I’ve heard of being from southern France along the Mediterranean .
It was rung as an unfledged Pullis at Neuenburger See in Switzerland on the 11th of May. Its so interesting to get these further afield recoveries, especially so close in date and far in distance. Its quite an atypical looking, Small bird,resembling Lesser black backed in a few features but looking nice having moulted 85% of it scapulars and window in inner primaries etc.
Numbers of Yellow Legs seem to have dropped a little at Greenwich in the last two visits, and I’m still to see a Caspian gull this season. The remaining birds however are looking beautiful as they approach first winter plumage.
The below bird was only seen in flight, taken at first for a juvenile YLG, closer inspection of the image showed it to be a 2CY bird. The iris is starting to become pale, P9 and P10 are growing, all wing coverts and tertials replaced as well as tail and adult grey feathers coming through in a few scaps.
Below is a Juvenile YLG in a similar flight position for comparison, taken in Marseille in Early August.