Sunday 4 February 2018

Yellow-legged Herring Gull

First-winter Herring Gull with yellow legs and bill base - Exmouth Quay. Not sure what to make of this bird. The tertials look remarkably plain and not at all Herring Gull-like, presumably due to wear, but in flight it looked like a perfectly ordinary Herring Gull. I wondered if the yellow is due to some sort of staining, but I think the colouration is too even for that. Just a pigmentation anomaly?


  1. Hi. I popped to the quay around 3pm for an hour and came across the same bird. I have to admit the Gulls aren’t my strongest point but I too struggled with this one. Can’t add much to your thoughts except could it be a hybrid?

  2. Hi Spencer - first-winters of all the potential large white-headed gull 'cross' species have pinkish legs so think this is unlikely. More than likely just a bare part aberration but who knows? All the best. Matt

  3. Cheers mate. As said, Gulls aren’t my strongest area. It’s an odd variation.

  4. What about argentatus? Looks like they can have yellow legs. This is probably worth a read

    1. Hi Spencer - adults can. Again v unlikely in younger age groups. Matt

  5. No problem mate. Thanks for being patient with me as Gulls are hard work for me and just trying to figure this one out.