Common Terns and Black-headed Gulls in the Wensum Valley

Nesting Common Terns and Black-headed Gulls in the Wensum Valley

A Request for Information.  As many of you who visit Sparham Pools NWT Reserve will have noticed over the last 3 years the Common Terns that nested on the island have been completely ousted by breeding Black-headed Gulls.

Many back-breaking man-days have been put into preparing the island for the terns to breed over the years with considerable success.  Fortunately so far, the nearby tern raft has not suffered to the same extent but 1 pair Black-headed Gull nested last year and this has increased to 3 pairs this year.

Charles Sayer has cleared an island on another of his lakes of scrub for the Common Terns to nest and so far it has 3 pair of terns but also 1 pair of Black-headed Gulls.

Nearer Norwich at Bawburgh Pits (in the Yare Valley) Alec Waller has helped build and launch a new tern raft this spring. This is its first season and has a few pair of nesting Common Tern but will it have Black-headed Gulls next year?

We are trying to gain an understanding of the dynamics of the Black-headed Gull v. Common Tern breeding situation in the Wensum Valley. This will help us focus our efforts to help the Common Terns to greatest effect.
This is where you can help. We would be very grateful of any records you have from both this and previous years of the numbers of breeding pairs and sites (preferably with map refs if possible) for Common Tern and Black-headed Gull. Please send any records you have to Alwyn or myself.
Many thanks Ray

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