Iceland Gull – Records

Larus glaucoides – GWYLAN YR ARCTIG – Rare visitor. Not recorded from June to August

Summary of records

Estimated number of individuals per year – as birds move around, it is often impossible to be certain about totals.  

2007 was an exceptional year with 61 individuals recorded in Wales, with 29 in Pembrokeshire alone.  Many stayed into early 2008, including 5 first winter birds roosting together at Llys-y-fran reservoir.

2012 – An influx in January-March (seen across north-west Europe) was linked to a stormy period of north-westerly winds during the last week of 2011.

An unseasonal bird on 7th July 2012, dismissed as a leucistic Larus, was fortunately photographed and shared with the Wardens this year (JJ). The finder should be congratulated for persisting with a bird he knew to be different. This well-worn first-summer, in the process of moulting its inner primaries, followed a winter influx of Iceland Gulls both nationally and in Pembrokeshire. Interestingly a first-summer was photographed in Fishguard Harbour on 10th August 2012 (Berry et al., 2013). The first Skokholm record was a first-winter on 19th March 1983, a third-summer visited on 23rd August and 9th September 1988 and second-year birds were present on 27th April and 16th May 1993 and on 26th March 1996. Skokholm Annual Report 2013

2014 – Large influx starting mid-January with some individuals staying until the end of February.

2019 – Only four records this year of singles at Sheepfields 21 Jan, adult at Newgale 9 Feb, another at Teifi Est 16 Feb and Skokholm 14 Nov. Adult Kumlien’s Gull, Llys y fran Res. 12 Jan (BS)

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire and Welsh Bird Reports

More about the Iceland Gull in Pembrokeshire