Gulls and Swifts - we urgently need your sightings!

posted in: Conservation, Gulls, Swift | 2

Manx BirdLife urgently needs your sightings of inland nesting gulls ... and also Swifts!

Inland nesting Gulls
Herring Gull (Neil G Morris)
Herring Gull (Neil G Morris)

As part of an island-wide census of the seabirds living on and around the Isle of Man (the first full census since 1999), we are trying to locate inland nesting gulls.

Our census team - comprising Richard Hill and Kim Bowman - has been scouring the coast counting the seabirds nesting on cliffs and sea-facing slopes, including seagulls.

Now, they need to count the seagulls nesting inland, for example on houses, buildings, in quarries, on fields and on the hills. And they'd greatly appreciate your assistance.

Please send us your sightings of inland nesting gulls

If you know of any seagulls nesting away from the coast, please report these using the online submissions form on this website. Richard and Kim will follow-up your report(s) to count the number of nesting birds involved - valuable information which will contribute to the census's findings.

Common Swift (© Pete Hadfield)
Common Swift (© Pete Hadfield)

The Swifts have now arrived from Africa to join us for the summer. In the evenings, you might be lucky enough to see them dashing around in groups above buildings and trees.

We would welcome your reports of this enigmatic and fast-declining species using the Swift reporting form on this website.

Swift assemblies and classes

And if your school or class would like to know more about the fascinating lives of these aerial masters and the extraordinary journeys they make across Africa, Europe and beyond, then call us on 01624 861130.

We have a special Swift assembly and an interactive Swift lesson designed for children of primary school age.

We look forward to hearing all about your inland nesting gull and Swift sightings! Thank you.


2 Responses

  1. I live close to peel harbour, and in previous years we have had many roof nesting gulls around us and on our own roof. But strangely this year , none at all.
    Are gull numbers dropping.? And could you confirm that they are a protected species still?
    Also, how do I become a member, and what, if any, news do you send out during the year?
    I belong to the RSPB at present. Thank you.

    • Manx BirdLife

      Yes, we believe numbers are dropping. We carried out an island-wide seabird census including the Calf this year (thanks to DEFA, the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm Project, Manx Wildlfie Trust and the Calf Wardens) and we shall publish the results soon. Up to recently there had been a 50% decline in Herring Gulls since the 1970s across the British Isles including the Isle of Man, and our census will update/revise that estimate. Herring Gull is Red Listed as a species of especial conservation concern in Europe, the UK and Ireland. It is not afforded any special protection, though it is covered generally by the Isle of Man Wildlife Act.
      We'd be most grateful for your support. To keep our costs down we don't offer membership with a regular magazine; we use the website to keep everyone informed as well as Twitter and Facebook. You can become a Friend of Manx BirdLife (details on this website at and we'd love to welcome you the 'club'. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
      Finally, I would just like to add that Manx BirdLife has a great working relationship with RSPB. Indeed, I am an ex-RSPB staffer myself. As well as an annual contribution to our funds, RSPB provides scientific expertise when we need it. We'll be working closely with the RSPB Northern Ireland team to develop our conservation strategy and to address Manx conservation priorities in the future.
      Best wishes, Neil