This national survey is planned.

In 2019 there will be a national census of urban nesting Gulls. This follows last year’s census of natural nesting seabirds as part of the 4th UK seabird census (called the Seabird Count) which has been running since 2015 but only fully funded and nationally coordinated since 2018. The census has been developed by the Seabird Monitoring Panel (SMP) and is coordinated by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), managed by national organiser Daisy Burnell and a team of county organisers for which I volunteered for Hertfordshire.  Full details can be found at Seabird Count.

Last year in Hertfordshire we achieved good coverage of our regular “naturally” nesting seabirds which comprise Cormorant, Common Tern and Black-headed Gull. Results have been collated and are being entered on the JNCC national database. It is hoped that the data from the 2018 and 2019 fieldwork will be presented in a future article in the Herts Bird Report.

It’s now time to prepare for the final year of the Seabird Count which will be of our urban nesting Gulls, which comprise Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

It is known that these Gulls nest on buildings in several areas of the county including Watford, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Borehamwood, but there has been expansion in to other areas over recent years. A total of 109 1km squares have been randomly selected from all those containing suitable urban buildings on which Gulls might nest. Volunteers are asked to visit these squares to look for breeding Gulls and to count the number of pairs of each species if found. Further details and recording forms are available in volunteer packs (electronic files) which will be mailed to those wishing to help with the survey.

See attached list of selected squares – a large number to cover! It would be great if members could look and see if any squares are near to where they live or work and are able to survey. 


If anyone wishes to take part please contact me at