SBRC review of Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis records

SBRC review of Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis records, May 2011

 

The following tables summarise the results of a review by SBRC of all Yellow-legged Gull records on the Scottish List, from the first seen in Scotland in 1998 to 2009.

This review, first advertised in Scottish Bird News in 2009 (Scottish Birds 29: 231), was initiated to ensure that all records of Yellow-legged Gull on the Scottish List fulfilled identification criteria published by SBRC, both in Scottish Birds (McInerny 2009) and on the SOC website.

In some cases SBRC felt that though records were likely to be Yellow-legged Gulls, they lacked essential identification features (usually detailed description of the wing-tip pattern) now known to be important for the safe identification of this species. To overturn a previous acceptance required a vote of at least 5-2 against, with such records classed as “not proven”.

The review resulted in the acceptance of 25 descriptions, which, when returning birds are taken into account, equate to 17 records of 19 birds. In contrast, 16 records of 17 birds were removed from the Scottish List, including the first six published records. The review thus results in the first accepted record for Scotland being an adult seen at the Ugie Estuary (North-east Scotland) on the 15 August 1998.

Since the initiation of this review, one more record of Yellow-legged Gull has been accepted by SBRC, an individual at Stevenston Point (Ayrshire) on 11-20 August and 11 September 2009. So, as of May 2011, for Yellow-legged Gull, there are 18 records of 20 birds on the Scottish List.

I thank all members of SBRC for their contribution to this review, and Dr Chris Gibbins for his input with one of the records.

McInerny, C. 2009. Scottish Birds Records Committee criteria for identification of Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis. Scottish Birds 29: 220-222.

Chris McInerny, on behalf of SBRC, May 2011

 

Accepted records

adult Ugie estuary, North-east Scotland 15 Aug 1998
adult Ythan Estuary, North-east Scotland 28 Jun 1999
3rd-4th s Ugie estuary, North-east Scotland 9-10 Jul 2000
adult Strathclyde Country Park, Clyde 9-13 Dec 2000, 7 Jan – 4 Feb 2001
adult Strathclyde Country Park, Clyde 6 Jan – 4 Feb 2001
adult Loch of Cliff, Burrafirth, Unst, Shetland 10 Jan 2001
adults (2) (R) Strathclyde Country Park, Clyde 9 Nov 2001 – 6 Jan 2002
adult Hogganfield Loch, Clyde 3 Feb 2002
2nd s Ullapool, Ross & Cromarty, Highland 18 Jun 2002
2nd w/3rd s Tayport, Fife 21 Jul 2002
adult Loch Gruinhart, Islay, Argyll 1-7 Sep 2002
adult Peterhead, North-east Scotland 31 Dec 2002 – 16 Mar 2003
adult (R) Hogganfield Loch, Clyde 2 Feb 2003
adult (R) Strathclyde Country Park, Clyde 22 Feb, 9 Dec 2003
adult (R) Strathclyde Country Park, Clyde 18 Jan – 25 Feb 2004
adult (R) Strathclyde Country Park, Clyde 25 Feb 2004
adult/4th s Lossie Estuary, Moray & Nairn 30 Mar – 4 Apr 2004
adult Troon Harbour, Ayrshire 25 Feb – 5 Mar 2005
adult (R) Strathclyde Country Park, Clyde 3 Feb 2006
adult (R) Troon Harbour, Ayrshire 17-28 Feb 2006
adults (2) Lossie Estuary, Moray & Nairn 29-30 Jun 2006
3rd cy Peterhead, North-east Scotland 27 Aug – Nov 2006
adult Seafield, Lothian 2 Jan 2007
adults (2) (R) Strathclyde Country Park, Clyde 6 Jan – 23 Feb 2008 (1), 17-21 Feb 2008 (2)
adult Bettyhill, Sutherland, Highland 22 Jun 2008

(R) = returning birds

Rejected records

adult Kirkwall, Orkney 20 Apr 1989
adult Doonfoot, Ayrshire 6 Jan 1991 – 6 May 1995
adult Doonfoot, Ayrshire 16 Apr 1997
adults (2) Doonfoot, Ayrshire 28 Jul 1997
adult Soa Point, Tiree, Argyll 23 Feb 1998
adult Blairbowie/Martanham Loch, Ayrshire 20 Apr, 8 May 1998
adult Barassie, Ayrshire 17 Aug 1999
adult North Ronaldsay, Orkney 2 Sep 1999
3rd s Tayport, Fife 11 Aug 2000
4th cy Tayport, Fife 24 May 2001
3rd s Tayport, Fife 22 Jul 2001
3rd s Tayport, Fife 16-27 Jul 2002
adult Leven, Fife 18 Feb 2005
adult Greengairs, Clyde 8 Jan 2006
adult Newmains, Reston, Borders 3 Jan 2007
adult Lochmaben, Dumfries & Galloway 5 Apr 2009