Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cachinnans). Third winter. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon., on September 20th 2009.
Third winter. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon., on September 20th 2009.
(1/640th sec at f11.Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)


L: 48 - 56 cm; WS: 117 - 134 cm

The Yellow-legged Gull has only recently been recognised as a species in its own right, having previously been considered to be a race of Herring Gull. Adults have darker grey backs and wings than Herring Gulls, but are paler than Lesser Black-backed Gulls. They have more black in the wing tips than Herring Gulls and smaller white 'mirrors'. The legs are bright yellow, there is a red ring around the eye and the bill is yellow with a large red spot. For most of the year four age-groups can be identified.

This species is mainly found in coastal areas of the Mediterranean but has also expanded along the French Atlantic coast. It is mainly a summer visitor to the British Isles.

As with other gulls, the combination of inland reservoirs and rubbish dumps exactly suits their needs.

Yellow-legged Gulls have very similar behaviour to Herring Gulls.

This species has amber status on the British list.


15-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
14-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
13-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
12-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
11-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
10-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
09-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

31-Oct-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
14-Sep-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
31-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
20-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
10-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (5+)
07-Jun-2017 : Starigrad, Croatia

06-Nov-2016 : La Janda, Spain
05-Nov-2016 : Playa de Los Lances, Spain (50+)
19-Aug-2016 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2+)
13-Aug-2016 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (6+)
13-Aug-2014 : Hinksey Lake, Oxford, Oxon (2)
19-Jun-2014 : nr Mirovo, Bulgaria
30-Mar-2014 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (2)