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Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus L 53-56cm. Similar to Herring Gull but adult has dark grey back and upperwings and bright yellow legs. Note, confusion possible with adult Yellow-legged (upperparts paler). Sexes are similar. Adult in summer has dark grey back and upperwings. Black wingtips are darker than rest of upperwing except for white trailing edge; plumage is otherwise white. Bill is yellow with orange spot. Iris is yellow and orbital ring is red. In winter, similar but with streaks on head and neck, and duller leg and bill colours. Juvenile and 1st winter have streaked and mottled grey-brown plumage, palest on head. Upperwings dark brown and whitish tail is dark-tipped. Eye and bill are dark. Adult plumage acquired over 3 years. 2nd winter similar to 1st winter but with grey back, pinkish legs and dark-tipped pink bill; 3rd winter resembles heavily streaked winter adult. Voice Utters a distinctive kyaoo and anxious ga-ka-ka. Status Locally common in summer, nesting colonially on seacliffs and islands. Most migrate S to Mediterranean outside breeding season; small numbers remain, often roosting on reservoirs.
- © PAUL STERRY/Nature Photographers
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