Our response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation More details

Black-headed Gulls

Wednesday, June 3rd 2020

Some of the Swaledale bird ringers have recently had the opportunity to ring Black-headed Gull chicks in a colony on the moors in the Yorkshire Dales.  These birds are not a 'seagull' and are found commonly almost anywhere inland. The birds in this particular location have had a successful breeding season so far and had chicks of various different ages.

According to the BTO, up until the 1940s, commercial exploitation of Black-headed Gull breeding colonies saw the collection of eggs and the taking of birds for meat. This was a large industry, as can be seen by the trade of nearly 300,000 eggs per year at Leadenhall Market in London during the 1930s! As shown in the photographs here, the eggs can vary in colour from blue/green to brown.

 

Bird Atlas 2007-11 data reveal the loss of breeding sites in the north and west of the UK since the 1968-72 Breeding Atlas but with gains in the south of England over the same period, a pattern seen in a number of other colonial waterbird species. It is not clear what is behind these changes, but changes in habitat quality and levels of predation may be involved. The species has been amber listed because of the recent decline in the size of the non-breeding population and the importance of Britain and Ireland during the winter months.

The nest itself is made from dry grasses and other vegetation, the amount of material used ranging from very little on dry sites to a substantial pile on wet sites, it is thought that the higher pile is to protect the nest contents from changing water levels. 


The young chicks are pale brown with black markings and are well camouflaged in the rushes. Here you can see a chick hatching out alongside one that is only a day old.

In total, one hundred and seventy two young birds were ringed by the Foxglove ringers and a second visit is planned as many were too small to have a metal ring fitted.

Ringing this species is important as it can help us to understand their migration.  The Black-headed Gull has been widely ringed in Europe and large numbers of recoveries are available from several countries, among them Britain, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Belgium. Many of the Black-headed Gulls ringed by the Foxglove team have been recovered in Ireland over the years.


(0) Comments:

There are no comments for this blog post yet. Why not start the discussion? - use the form below:


Leave a Comment:

Please complete this field, it's required. Your email address will not be displayed but it's required.

Your email address will not be displayed but it's required.

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?


Back to Top

Help Support Foxglove

Friends of Foxglove

The Friends of Foxglove Covert is for those individuals, families and organisations who would like to support the reserve through an annual membership subscription. Friends receive a regular newsletter and invitations to attend our various activities and social events.

More Details

Upcoming Events


Damsels and Dragons CANCELLED

Sunday 19th July 2020 | 1.00pm start

The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn. For up to date information this website, FaceBook and other forms of social media should be consulted. If you have donated in advance to secure a place on an event you will be contacted over the next few days and offered a refund. We apologise for this inconvenience.

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a Dragonfly and a Damselfly? Can you tell the difference between the different species of blue damselfly? Would you like to learn more about theses fascinating animals that have been around since prehistoric times? Join Keith Gittens for a walk around the beautiful Foxglove ponds (some of which are usually out of bounds to visitors) and observe as many different species as you can. Last year, a new species for the reserve was discovered on this event!

Booking is essential as places are limited. There is a donation of £5 per person to be paid in advance in order to secure a place. Payments now can be made on the phone.

This event is free for Volunteers and Friends of the reserve.



Family Pond Dipping 1 - FULLY BOOKED!

Wednesday 22nd July 2020 | 45 minute sessions on the hour

Come along and find out which animals are living in some of the Foxglove ponds. Book a pond dipping session for your family bubble of up to six people. There will be a socially distanced brief to set you off and then you can use the equipment for the remainder of the session. You will be requested to use hand gel on arrival and the net handles will be cleaned between sessions. Please call the Reserve Managers on 07754 270980 to book your allocated slot. You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



VIEW ALL EVENTS

Undergrowth Newsletter




The Dragonflies of Strensall and Foxglove Covert
{alt}

This book has been published with the aim of enabling people visiting these, immensely important Flagship Pond Sites in North Yorkshire, to identify the dragonflies and damselflies they encounter - by reference to a simple text and photographs. Credits - Yorkshire Dragonfly Group & Freshwater Habitats Trust

Read this Issue


View All The Newsletters

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Archive