Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Calvert - 23rd December 2004
Photos copyright Tim Watts
This Leucistic Lesser Black-backed Gull was seen in the Gull roost at Calvert could easily be misidentified.
High Wycombe - 10th July 2003
Photos copyright Jim Rose
Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls have been a regular sight over the Cressex Industrial estate at High Wycombe over the last two summers. Breeding was suspected in 2002 but the actual breeding site was not known. During 2003 it was discovered that the birds were breeding on the roof of a disused factory in Lincoln Road (The birds in the upper photographs can just be seen on the factory roof in the lower picture). Juveniles Herring Gulls were seen on the apex of one of the roofs in early July, but when the above photographs were taken, it was a Lesser Black-back Gull that was in view. There are often 20-30 adult and sub-adult birds in the sky immediately around the breeding site, but the actual size of the colony is not known and access to the roof area is a problem. This is the first confirmed breeding of any of the larger gull species in the county.
It is interesting that the The Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland 1988-1991 (BTO) shows rather few inland breeding sites for either Lesser Black-backed or Herring Gull. However any new survey may well show a very different picture. It will be interesting to see how this colony develops in future years.