Urban Gull Survey

The Urban Gull Survey is part of Seabirds Count, organised by JNCC: Joint Nature Conservation Committee . This was originally scheduled to be completed in 2020, but fieldwork was postponed until 2021 due to Covid restrictions.

The need for a new urban gull survey methodology has arisen because of the expansion of urban nesting, particularly by Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull, during the last 15-20 years.

The method for the current survey involves visits to specified Ordnance Survey 1-km squares, selected by stratified random sample. Some of these squares will be truly urban, some much less so; all will contain some buildings, gulls are not guaranteed. We do need surveys to be completed even where gulls are unlikely to be found. The squares are listed at the foot of this page.

Normally only one visit will need to be made to the square and observers will report on whether gulls were present at all, the number of apparently occupied nests, the number of apparently occupied territories and the number of birds in full adult plumage. Additional information needed to complete the survey will be date, time and weather, the use of gull deterrents (such as netting on roofs), a rough estimate of the proportion of the square that could not be accessed and a note of how many of the gulls counted were thought to be away from their breeding territories.

The peak timing for the survey will be late April to mid-May though later counts will still be of use.

Full documentation, including instructions and the recording form (in alternative MSWord and Excel formats) is available here

In addition to the sample squares Durham Bird Club would like to hear of any other roof nesting colonies of gulls in its recording area (between Tyne and Tees). These can be reported using the Club’s recording sheet, available through the Submit Records page on its website or via BirdTrack

The sample squares for which we are seeking volunteers appear in the table which follows. Please note that the location column is intended to give an indication of the area of the county involved; it may not, in itself, be a precise location. The 1-km square reference is a hotlink which should bring up the 1:50,000 O.S. map in the Geograph website; clicking on that map should display the larger-scale 1:25,000 map of that square

1-km squareLocation1-km squareLocation
NY9525Middleton-in-TeesdaleNZ0316Barnard Castle (west)
NZ0836Wolsingham (east)NZ0950Consett (southwest)
NZ1050Consett (south)NZ1052Shotley Bridge
NZ1151LeadgateNZ1152Bunker Hill/Leadgate (north)
NZ1524EvenwoodNZ1547Lanchester (west)
NZ1554Dipton/Flint HillNZ1633Howden Bridge
NZ1650GreencroftNZ1652Annfield Plain
NZ1653HarelawNZ1752West Kyo/East Kyo
NZ1829EscombNZ1841Esh Winning (west)
NZ1847Lanchester/BurnhopeNZ1942Esh Winning (east)
NZ1953Tanfield LeaNZ2029Bishop Auckland (west)
NZ2053Shield Row/East StanleyNZ2128South Church
NZ2227Eldon LaneNZ2326Shildon
NZ2422HeighingtonNZ2433Spennymoor (west)
NZ2440MeadowfieldNZ2514Low Coniscliffe
NZ2532Middlestone MoorNZ2541Stone Bridge, Durham City
NZ2547NettlesworthNZ2616Branksome, Darlington
NZ2624Newton Aycliffe (Station area)NZ2641Elvet Hill, Durham City
NZ2643North End, Durham CityNZ2644Framwellgate Moor, Durham City
NZ2653Drum Industrial Estate, BirtleyNZ2713Darlington (south)
NZ2724Newton Aycliffe (central)NZ2727Woodham Village
NZ2733Spennymoor (southeast)NZ2741Durham City (south)
NZ2825Newton Aycliffe (east)NZ2915Darlington (central)
NZ3010Hurworth-on-TeesNZ3114Darlington (east)
NZ3117Darlington(northeast)/BarmptonNZ3142Sherburn Village
NZ3739Wheatley Hill/ThornleyNZ3743Haswell
NZ3835Trimdon CollieryNZ3844South Hetton
NZ3846Murton (south)NZ3936Trimdon (east)
NZ4040Shotton CollieryNZ4143Easington
NZ4150Seaham (north)NZ4242Little Thorpe