Common Gull – colour-ring sightings

Larus canus – GWYLAN Y GWEUNYDD – Winter visitor

The common gull has never been common in Pembrokeshire, and is usually seen only in winter. Breeding populations have declined in many areas, stimulating a need to find out more about the gulls and their movements. To this end, gulls have been ringed in several countries in Europe, using a combination of colours and letters that can be read through a telescope or camera lens without the need to recapture the birds.

If you come across a bird with colour rings, please report it to European Colour-ring Birding from where you will get information about ‘your’ bird, as well as adding to the database of useful information about the species.

Please don’t just assume that someone else has reported a sighting – your record could add information such as longevity, the amount of time a bird spends in a particular place, etc.

This map is based on observations made by Sam Baxter and others at the Nevern Estuary (red pin). Blue pins show where gulls were ringed.

Additional information about colour-ringing common gulls

More about the Common Gull in Pembrokeshire

Common Gull – 1994

Larus canus – GWYLAN Y GWEUNYDD – Winter visitor

Both Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al (1949) described the Common Gull as a frequent autumn and winter visitor, a status which has not changed.

The birds begin to arrive from early August onwards, and are mostly adults, sometimes accompanied by birds of the year.  The main winter population arrives in October, recoveries suggesting a northern European origin.  For instance, one ringed in north Germany in July 1953 was recovered at Lamphey in February 1956 and another ringed at Skokholm in February 1956 was recovered in Norway in June 1957.  Small numbers frequent the outer coastline and the estuaries but most forage widely across inland fields, commuting from the main roosts at Fishguard harbour, Cleddau Estuary and Amroth-Saundersfoot, with an average count total of about 4000 birds.  Most depart during March with a few others passing through in April and May, while first year birds occasionally summer at the coast.

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

More about the Common Gull in Pembrokeshire

Common Gull – 1980s winter

Larus canus – GWYLAN Y GWEUNYDD – Winter visitor

The BTO winter atlas showed that Common Gulls were present in most 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 up to 400 birds in a day.

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

Graham Rees (County bird recorder 1981 to 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 Common Gull in Pembrokeshire

Common Gull – 1894

Larus canis

An autumn and winter visitor.

Although named the “Common” Gull, this species is by no means so numerous either as the Herring Gull, or the Kittiwake, and does not nest with us, going northwards in the spring to its breeding stations in Scotland, where it places its nest on the ground at the edges of lochs.

It is to be seen commonly on the sands and mud flats on the shore during the winter, and also very often on fields inland, and we have often been amused by watching the scrambles between the Rooks and the Common Gulls for worms when the birds have been closely following the plough. In the winter of 1886, we several times saw, and once or twice got very close to, a perfect albino Common Gull that, with other Gulls, daily visited a field near Stone Hall. The Common Gull was reported by Colonel Montagu to nest upon Ramsey Island, but the nests he describes are evidently those of the Kittiwakes.

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

More about the Common Gull in Pembrokeshire

Common Gull

Larus canus – GWYLAN Y GWEUNYDD – Winter visitor

Common Gull – colour-ring sightings

Larus canus – GWYLAN Y GWEUNYDD – Winter visitor The common gull has never been common in Pembrokeshire, and is usually seen only in winter. Breeding populations have declined in many areas, stimulating a need to find out more about the gulls and their movements. To this end, gulls have been ringed in several countries […]

Common Gull – 1994

Larus canus – GWYLAN Y GWEUNYDD – Winter visitor Both Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al (1949) described the Common Gull as a frequent autumn and winter visitor, a status which has not changed. The birds begin to arrive from early August onwards, and are mostly adults, sometimes accompanied by birds of the year.  The […]

Common Gull – 1980s winter

Larus canus – GWYLAN Y GWEUNYDD – Winter visitor The BTO winter atlas showed that Common Gulls were present in most 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 up to 400 birds in a day. Found […]

Common Gull – 1949

Larus canus canus Common autumn and winter visitor, arriving in September and leaving in March R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field Society More about the Common Gull in Pembrokeshire

Common Gull – 1894

Larus canis An autumn and winter visitor. Although named the “Common” Gull, this species is by no means so numerous either as the Herring Gull, or the Kittiwake, and does not nest with us, going northwards in the spring to its breeding stations in Scotland, where it places its nest on the ground at the edges of lochs. […]

Common Gull

Larus canus – GWYLAN Y GWEUNYDD – Winter visitor