Common Gull (Mew Gull)
Distribution Britain 577 (-12.7%) Ireland 87 (-39.2%)
Numbers breeding: Britain 68,000 Ireland 3,600
European status: 475,000 (15% in Britain and Ireland =3)
British population trend: gradual losses (+16% BBS)
How likely are you to record it? 264 squares (5.9%) Ranked 78 
There is considerable confusion with early records as the Common Gull was not the commonest gull but, by 1900, it is certain that it bred in the far north-west of Ireland and over most of Scotland bar the south-east corner. Over the next 60 years they spread with colonies in much of the north-west half of Ireland, in new areas in Scotland and established at Dungeness, Kent, 1919, with desultory breeding in northern England. Anglesey was colonised in about 1960 but the breeding birds were foxed to extinction 10 years later. More recently many colonies have declined or disappeared, although they are now established inland in northern England. Afforestation and predation by mink and foxes have been implicated but there are still some large, thriving and dispersed inland colonies. The losses seem likely to continue.
Whilde, A., Cotton, D.C.F. & Sheppard, J.R. 1993 Irish Birds: 5, 67-72.
The following Bird On! sketch is available:
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From The State of the Nations Birds
Copyright © 2000 by Chris Mead