Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Weather to Blame for Increase in Seabird Numbers

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Weather to Blame for Increase in Seabird Numbers

Article excerpt

Byline: Hugh Macknight Content Editor

ARECORD number of migrating seabirds visited the North East thanks to this year's topsy-turvy weather, the National Trust has revealed.

Thousands of little gulls - a type of seagull - descended on the Farne Islands in Northumberland in October, according to the charity's annual round-up of the year in nature.

The birds, which nest in Eastern Europe, were pushed south by stormy weather over the North Sea, it is thought.

Rangers on the National Trust's Farne Islands Blog wrote: "The dainty little gull is generally a summer visitor to the British Isles with

the nearest breeding colonies in Eastern Europe. In recent days the Farne Islands have experienced an unprecedented passage of these fantastic gulls with record numbers recorded.

"The majority of the birds have been adults and the count of 2,184 on October 10 eclipses the previous highest ever island count of 1,747 on October 14, 2002. Why we've had so many remains unclear although recent weather systems across the North Sea have probably pushed birds into the Southern North Sea."

Rangers recorded 170 of the birds on the North Island on October 8 this year, 82 on October 9, then 2,184 - a new record - on October 10 and 791 on October 11.

The changing weather was attributed to climate changes.

National Trust nature and wildlife specialist Matthew Oates said: "The greatest challenge for wildlife this year, and perhaps a sign of things to come, was the extreme weather.

"This, combined with the loss of habitat, means that nature is in for a bumpy ride in the years ahead as shown by the rollercoaster that many species endured in 2014.

"This was a remarkable year for much of our wildlife, with many extreme highs and lows. Some species fared exceptionally well, others very poorly, with many faring differently from region to region.

"After such a helter-skelter year, we wonder what lies ahead and what the winter will bring. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.