Black-headed Gull – WeBS 2020-21

Chroicocephalus ridibundus – GWYLAN PENDDU – Winter visitor and passage migrant, formerly bred.

Updates to the Wetland Bird Survey counts for this season.

Counting gulls for WeBS is optional, and has only been regularly included at Pembrokeshire sites since 1993. Gulls are still not counted on a few sites.

Note that any counts for this season may be updated as more counts come in.

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

More about the Black-headed Gull in Pembrokeshire

Black-headed Gull – 1994

Larus ridibundus – GWYLAN PENDDU – Winter visitor and passage migrant, formerly bred

The Black-headed Gull was recorded by Mathew (1894) as only an autumn and winter visitor. Lockley et al. (1949) stated that there was said to be a large colony of Black-headed Gulls breeding on Caldey in 1662 and that Dowrog Pond and Trefeiddan were colonised in 1948. The former colony built up to 80 pairs by 1958 and died out shortly after 1966, the latter reached a peak of 18 pairs in 1958 and also became deserted around 1966. Three nests were found on Ramsey in 1962 and 16 pairs bred there in 1964, while up to four pairs bred on Skomer between 1965 and 1970.

Black-headed Gulls arrive in Pembrokeshire from early July, when small parties of adults accompanied by juveniles can be seen flying overland towards the coast and also angling across Cardigan Bay from the north-east. These are presumably birds that have bred in mid-Wales and England. The main arrival takes place in October, appears to be largely nocturnal and is probably Continental in origin. In winter they are widely distributed throughout the county, on the estuaries, harbours and shorelines, but more extensively on inland fields, commuting daily from a number of well-established roosts at Poppit, Nevem Estuary, north Broad Haven—Goultrop, Fishguard Harbour, Llysyfran reservoir, Fowborough, Pembroke River, Angle Bay and Amroth— Saundersfoot. The British Trust for Ornithology’s Winter Gull survey of 1985 found a total of 16,826 Black-headed Gulls at these roosts.

Wintering birds depart suddenly in March, presumably leaving at night. Thereafter, occasional small parties of adults are seen passing northwards throughout April and May and about 150 one- year old birds summer on the Cleddau Estuary, with a few others scattered around the coast.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

More about the Black-headed Gull in Pembrokeshire

Black-headed Gull – 1980s winter

Larus ridibundus – GWYLAN PENDDU – Winter visitor and passage migrant, formerly bred

The BTO winter atlas showed that Black-headed Gulls were present in all 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. 

The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 1,491 birds.

Found extensively using wet pasture and newly ploughed land but all roosts reported were around the estuaries.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Data collected by volunteers for the BTO. Lack, P. 1986 Atlas of wintering birds in Britain and Ireland. T & A.D. Poyser.

More about the Black-headed Gull in Pembrokeshire

Black-headed Gull – 1949

Larus ridibundus ridibundus – GWYLAN PENDDU – Winter visitor and passage migrant, formerly bred.

There was said to be a large colony on Caldey in 1662, the only one on record until 1947, when three or four pairs were present in the St Davids area, and were believed to have bred, but if so, the eggs were taken by local countrymen.  In 1948 J.F. found breeding, six pairs of Dowrog and four pairs at Trefeiddan, and photographed nests with eggs and young.  A common winter visitor from July to April, and some birds are seen in May and June.

R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field Society

More about the Black-headed Gull in Pembrokeshire

Black-headed Gull – 1894

BROWN-HEADED GULL, Larus ridibundus – An autumn and winter visitor.

Common on the coast, and often to be seen on fields inland, in company with Common and Herring Gulls.

There is no nesting place of this pretty species, that breeds on the ground in swampy places, and by the edges of lakes, in Pembrokeshire, nor in any of the adjoining counties that we can discover. Indeed, the only place in the Principality that we at present know of (we consider there must be some others) where the Brown-heads nest, is on Mochras Island, on the coast of Merionethshire, where Mr. J. H. Salter found empty nests and other traces that the birds had reared young, at the end of June.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Black-headed Gull in Pembrokeshire

Black-headed Gull

Larus ridibundus – GWYLAN PENDDU – Winter visitor and passage migrant, formerly bred

Black-headed Gull – 1994

Larus ridibundus – GWYLAN PENDDU – Winter visitor and passage migrant, formerly bred The Black-headed Gull was recorded by Mathew (1894) as only an autumn and winter visitor. Lockley et al. (1949) stated that there was said to be a large colony of Black-headed Gulls breeding on Caldey in 1662 and that Dowrog Pond and Trefeiddan were […]

Black-headed Gull – 1980s winter

Larus ridibundus – GWYLAN PENDDU – Winter visitor and passage migrant, formerly bred The BTO winter atlas showed that Black-headed Gulls were present in all 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84.  The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 1,491 birds. Found […]

Black-headed Gull – 1894

BROWN-HEADED GULL, Larus ridibundus – An autumn and winter visitor. Common on the coast, and often to be seen on fields inland, in company with Common and Herring Gulls. There is no nesting place of this pretty species, that breeds on the ground in swampy places, and by the edges of lakes, in Pembrokeshire, nor in any of the […]