Welcome to The Gullery

Gulls do not always get the best press, but their intelligence, resourcefulness and beauty put them in a special place for some of us. Bird colonies are one of nature's great spectacles; bringing the two things together makes gull colonies particularly special. The vibrancy, noise and smell is like nothing else and it is a great and privileged experience to be in amongst it all.
This site is to bring together research work, ideas and issues accumulating from two colonies in the North of England; Rockcliffe Marsh on the West and Marsden on the East. Both very different as you will see (check out site profiles); both equally exciting. We hope that by sharing our work and ideas it will help others in their endeavours, and also provide a focal point for discussion - we have so much to learn.

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What we are Currently Trying to Do

Much of what we are doing  is work in progress; inching forward each season and gradually learning a little more. Our main aims this breeding season are as follows:
Rockcliffe -
  • Measure populations and proportion of Lessers to Herrings among adults, nests and young;
  • Develop further methods for identifying nests to species;
  • Add further to data that will inform return levels to natal colony;
  • Investigate hatching synchrony within the colony;
  • Track clutch sizes and weights as possible indicators of the breeding health in the colony;
  • Chick development;
  • Re-examine diets and investigate feeding.
Marsden - 
  • Repeat colony census;
  • Examine spatial distribution of the colony;
  • Measure Kittiwake productivity.


Recent tasks

Design forage pattern methodology 3.) Closed June 16, 2012 
Marden productivity monitoring 3.) Closed June 10, 2012 
Egg size analysis 3.) Closed June 9, 2012 
Phase 2 of Rockcliffe nest survey 3.) Closed May 24, 2012 
Rockcliffe: set up nest monitoring cameras 3.) Closed May 24, 2012 
Showing 5 items from page Tasks sorted by Start. View more »

Recent Files

  • Colour rings 2012 - Severn Estuary Group.rtf   50k - Jun 12, 2012, 12:17 AM by Geoff Siggens (v2)
  • Gull nest recording form 2.xls   23k - May 13, 2012, 5:03 AM by Geoff Siggens (v2)
  • Hatching date lookup tables.xls   37k - May 13, 2012, 5:03 AM by Geoff Siggens (v2)
  • Marsden 2005 Breeding Seabirds 2.pdf   39k - May 12, 2012, 8:02 AM by Geoff Siggens (v2)
  • Marsden 2005 Breeding Seabirds 1.pdf   67k - May 12, 2012, 8:02 AM by Geoff Siggens (v2)
Showing 5 files from page Document Archive.

Recent discussion

  • Rockcliffe: Taking Stock Background A visit to the gullery on 30 June to ring chicks revealed that the colony’s productivity had collapsed. Only 9 chicks of an appropriate ringing age were located ...
    Posted Jul 15, 2012, 7:29 AM by Geoff Siggens
  • Rockcliffe colony collapses Survey work in the gullery today on Rockcliffe revealed a depressing picture; there were very few chicks and few adults still 'defending' the colony. This is now the fourth year ...
    Posted Jul 6, 2012, 10:38 PM by Geoff Siggens
  • Kittiwake productivity; looking promising While it is still very early days in the season, the second KIttiwake productivity monitoring results look promising. Almost a quarter of nests still have adults sitting tight, so they ...
    Posted Jun 22, 2012, 7:37 AM by Geoff Siggens
  • Rockcliffe gulls in poorer breeding condition? Analysis of gull egg clutches suggests that the adults are finding things a little tougher this year than last, with birds in poorer breeding condition and higher conspecific egg predation ...
    Posted Jun 22, 2012, 7:22 AM by Geoff Siggens
  • Colour-ringed Gulls on Rockcliffe There have been a number of colour-ringed gulls on Rockcliffe this year. At least three and possibly up to 5 colour-ringed Lesser Black-backeds were seen during the ...
    Posted Jun 16, 2012, 6:21 AM by Geoff Siggens
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 8. View more »