Differences between lesser and great black backed gulls?

Hello, I’m having difficulty distinguishing these two gulls apart. I see one of them daily now but I have absolutely no clue which one it is.

They come round singularly but sometimes pairs, have dark grey/black very long (almost lanky) wings but are absolutely massive.

This may seem a silly question but I’m not very good with seagulls, as they all look similar to me in flight.
Thanks, Ellis  

  • You will have to decide whether it is dark grey or black. LBB are herring gull sized, with dark grey wings. GBB are larger, but that’s difficult to judge unless you see them both together, and have properly black wings. Also, if you are close enough, LBB have yellow legs whilst GBB have pink legs.
  • Almost certainly LBBGs. GBBGs are largely coastal.
  • GBBGs also have bills that look like they could open a small family car like a sardine tin

    Cin J

  • To me the Greater looks like some old club bouncers with that mean look, for size think almost Buzzard size and the back is a proper back, Though GBBG is dsaid to be mainly coastal we get them regular away here in N.Yorkshire about 40 miles as the Gull flies from the sea.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Hi

    the primary tip pattern of black and white is different

    S

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • In reply to Seaman:

    Though GBBG is dsaid to be mainly coastal we get them regular away here in N.Yorkshire about 40 miles as the Gull flies from the sea.

    True. I should have said "mainly coastal at this time of year".

  • Two GBBG gave us a bit of a scare yesterday when we were checking out an Avocets breeding attempt on a local patch. Luckily the Avocets are, as you will probably know, are very aggressive against intruders so eventually saw the gulls off. The worry is now that Gulls have long memories so no doubt will be back to see if there are any eggs or chicks around. We are not certain the Avocets had laid so they may move nest site.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • So ellis, which was it?
  • In reply to ouzel:

    Sorry for not replying, I’ve been super busy. Saw one up close today and it is definitely LBBG. Size is a little skewed from far away, which is why I thought it was bigger. Wing tips, colour and size all confirm LBBG.
    Thanks, Ellis