Thursday, 12 April 2012

'yellow legged' argenteus Herring Gull?

While watching the thousands of gulls at Newquay Fish Quay (Martin Garner Gull Day coming here next winter), Arfon Williams and I came across this apparent 'argenteus' Herring Gull with bright yellow legs. Pumped up on hormones? distant Lesser black backed Gull ancestors? Anyone seen anything similar before?


  1. Marc - you're still gulling!!!

    Mmmm... interestuing beast. Looks quite dark mantled to me.

    I remember about 10 years ago there was a HUGE flock of gulls around some mucky fields in the Bodorgan/Aberffraw area of Anglesey one winter. Think they were spreading waste dairy products or suchlike.

    I found a few weird things amongst the hordes of larids inc an apparent Glauc x Herring hybrid and a yellow-legged H Gull thingy. I put it down to an omissus type bird as thats all I could think of at the time.

    I've got the (truly awful) video somewhere on some old tapes - will have to dig it out and digitise it for a look.

    Good Birding


  2. Can't wait to see the vid Andy.
    Marc, If I saw that I would call it a Yellow legged Gull. What does Martin think? You mention LBBG ancestors? Wouldn't Herring/Yellow legged Gull be a more appropriate mixed race theory if any?

  3. Fair point Steve. It didn't seem to have a Red orbital ring despite being in breeding attire. Would be great to see the video footage Andy. April is a good time for gulling Andy, so is the summer months when they are much ignored.

  4. Same bird present again today. Identical to normal type argenteus apart from the leg colour, but I did notice that three or four other argenteus also had a yellowy tinge to their legs (but not as pronounced as this bird) - must be a breeding season thing. An ad Yellow-legged Gull was also briefly present and its upper parts were noticeable darker than the yellow-legged argenteus.