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Common Gull Larus canus

Common Gull photo index
Common Gull Photo Index


Winter visitor and passage migrant. Numerous only in south and east Warwickshire.


 

Common Gulls occur regularly throughout the region but are relatively scarce away from south and east Warwickshire and to a lesser extent in south Worcestershire. At Draycote Water, near Rugby in south-east Warwickshire, over 5000 Common Gulls are consistently encountered in the gull roost during the winter months, with as many as 10000 estimated in March 1979 and January 2005. In the rest of the region, gatherings of above 50 are noteworthy and the species is very much in a minority at the other major gull roosts.

Five-yearly means of maximum counts at selected roost sites are presented in Table 1.

5-year Mean Draycote Tame Valley Westwood Belvide Blithfield Chasewater Bartley
1986 - 1990 4325 inadequate data 29 15 61 61 inadequate data
1991 - 1995 4510 inadequate data 24 23 107 21 inadequate data
1996 - 2000 4100 inadequate data 23 18 35 82 inadequate data
2000 - 2005 5970 110 28 20 92 35 10
2006 - 2010 9000 101 11 13 19 42 12

Table 1. 5-yearly means of maximum counts of Common Gulls at selected roost sites, 1986 - 2010.

As a passage migrant, moderate numbers of Common Gulls occur in south and east Warwickshire but also in south Worcestershire. Counts of between 200 and 400 are reported from south Worcestershire in most springs, between mid-February and mid-April. Larger concentrations are occasionally encountered:

1150 at Eckington, February 20th 1998.

1000 in the Bredons Hardwick - Strensham area, April 9th 1989.

750 at Bredons Hardwick, April 1996.

750 at Upton-on-Severn, April 3rd 2005.

Compared with most other species of gull, Common Gulls feed predominantly on pasture and are only casual visitors to refuse tips. Most of the birds roosting at Draycote are believed to spend the day feeding on pasture in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire and only a handful are to be found at the landfill sites in the vicinity of the reservoir.


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