Skuas, Gulls, Terns and Auks

Great Skua* Scarce, but has been recorded in the estuary. No details available.
Arctic Skua* One known record, adult pale morph over the River Lune, 14/8/00
Mediterranean Gull Singletons are occasionally seen in summer both at Sunderland and Middleton. (Probably, but not always, wandering individuals from Heysham.)
Black-headed Gull Present Year round. Peak counts of up to 1200 in late summer.
Common Gull Could be present at any time, but usually in small no's. 45 storm blown adults in Feb '96 were unusual.
Lesser Black-backed Gull Peak counts occur in mid summer with flocks of up to 70 birds.
Herring Gull Usually present in small no's.  Winter storms can produce much bigger flocks. i.e. 170  over Middleton Sands early Jan '98.
Yellow-Legged Gull The Bazil Point bird, present  late summer during the mid '90's is occasionally 'scoped from Sunderland car park.  Still present Autumn '99!
Great Black-backed Gull Largest no's. occur in winter, up to 20 on the high tide roosts.
Iceland Gull* One record of a second winter bird Jan. 27th -28th 1984.
Kittiwake All known records are of storm blown birds in winter.
Sandwich Tern* Scarce summer visitor.
Common tern Breeds in small no's. on Colloway Marsh just up the river from Sunderland. Frequently seen feeding on the River Lune in summer. Previous records show that there has been a marked and steady decline from 250- 300 pairs breeding in1982/3.
Arctic Tern Formerly 10-20 pairs breeding on Colloway Marsh (1980's) Now much reduced. Odd summer records (including juveniles) suggest that they still have a toe-hold in the area. Most common on spring passage. Recent observations would suggest that Arctic Tern is now more common than Common Tern in this area.
Little Tern* Previously a common autumn passage migrant with flocks of over 100 birds regularly seen in the Lune Estuary, certainly up to 1982. No's have since declined drastically with no known sightings for the last five years.
Black Tern Scarce passage Migrant.
Guillemot Scarce, storm blown birds seen from Potts Corner.
Razorbill* Vagrant, one seen Dec.'99 floating from Glasson Basin towards Sunderland.
Brunnich's Guillemot* A tideline corpse was found in 1960!
Little Auk* Another tideline corpse, date unknown.

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