Gulls were doing my head in earlier this week. A Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) had been reported by local birdwatchers and, as I’d never seen one and the location was on a lovely walking route along the River Taff, I thought I’d go for a look-see. “It was the only large gull on the river so that might help”, said one who had spotted it the previous day. Well, wouldn’t you know it – when I arrived at the site, there were two large gulls there and, to my gull-uneducated eye, they looked very alike.
The grey back of the Yellow-legged gull is supposed to be somewhere between that of a Herring gull and a Lesser black-backed gull but, when you have neither of those gulls sitting right next to yours to do a comparison and when one of my possibilities was standing in deep shade and the other in full sun, it was almost impossible to see any difference. So, I followed the other advice I’d been given: “Take lots of photos and hope the experts can help you out.” Thanks to those experts, in the South Wales Birding group on Facebook, I can here present to you my first-ever Yellow-legged gull … and I wish you the very best of luck if you’re ever trying to ID one of these for yourself.