Common Gull Larus canus
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 and 25000 in December 2015. Counts (of all species) from this huge gull roost are very intermittent however. 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 (plus recent numbers 'loafing' at Marsh Lane, a key site for the species in the West Midlands 'county') are presented in Table 1.
|5-year Mean||Draycote||Tame Valley||Westwood||Belvide||Blithfield||Chasewater||Bartley||Marsh Lane|
|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|
|2011 - 2015||inadequate data||109||15||19||47||21||10||46|
Table 1. 5-yearly means of maximum counts of Common Gulls at selected sites, 1986 - 2015.
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, though numbers have declined recently. Larger concentrations have been encountered occasionally :
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.
| Laughing |
Ring-billed | Common |
Lesser Black-backed |