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Thread: Black Headed Gulls- Legal Control

  1. #1

    Black Headed Gulls- Legal Control

    Alright folks

    Just a quick possibly straight forward question, Is it possible to Legally control Black Headed Gulls in Scotland?

    I have checked the general licences which olnly list's Greater Black backed gulls for conservation and Greater and Lesser Black backed gulls for environmental health.
    I was pretty sure Black headed were on it, possibly been on it in the past and removed?

    If he answer is wot i think it is (a No) is it possible to apply for a specific licence for that 1 area and how complicated is the process? And also wot sort off timesale is involved does anyone know?

    The problem is on a small nature reserve (pond) which has won a few prizes for conservation in the past over the past 3ish years just over run with these gulls, must be hundreds off them all nesting. Infact hardly any mallard or any other bird for that matter on the pond and pretty much every scrap off nesting cover is being used by the gulls. Any duck/bird nesting anywhere near stands no chance
    cheers

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by countrryboy View Post
    Alright folks

    Just a quick possibly straight forward question, Is it possible to Legally control Black Headed Gulls in Scotland?

    I have checked the general licences which olnly list's Greater Black backed gulls for conservation and Greater and Lesser Black backed gulls for environmental health.
    I was pretty sure Black headed were on it, possibly been on it in the past and removed?

    If he answer is wot i think it is (a No) is it possible to apply for a specific licence for that 1 area and how complicated is the process? And also wot sort off timesale is involved does anyone know?

    The problem is on a small nature reserve (pond) which has won a few prizes for conservation in the past over the past 3ish years just over run with these gulls, must be hundreds off them all nesting.
    there is your answer
    gulls are controlled in towns regardless of species by "de-nesting" the roof the tenements

  3. #3
    Surely that can't be legal. If a wild bird is not on the general licence or classed as game u can't kill it or destroy nest.

    If that was the case why have a part on general licence about pricking and oiling black backed gulls eggs but not other seagulls eggs.

    The only exemption i can guess is something to do with it being on a building so protecting the 'structure' off the building? I know the local big town has a gull problem and councillors don't do anything as bunny huggers are up in arms about it

  4. #4
    Not on the general license now, can't even remember when they received protection, used to be a big market for their eggs which I am sure will also be illegal to collect now.

    Not sure but there way well be an exemption for dealing with nests on a building, don't know what you can do about them other than try to deter them from taking up residence on your pond.

    There was a chap in Airdrie with a couple of Eagle owls, the landfill sites used to use him, the owls were not flown just tethered on a post, very effective on gulls they did not seem to stay around long, but would probably scare of everything else as well.

    Sorry not much help.

  5. #5
    Cheers bogtrotter i thought i could remember them being on the GL. Just a small nature reserve, i don't even shoot it. The reserve manager has put in a massive ammount of work over the years and it used to have a right varied birdlife there sadly now little else but sea gulls, be to late to scare them this year with egg's on nest. Would eagle owls scrae off other birdlife too, or just birds in thereprey range, ie wee birds would be fine but scare mallard away as well as gulls.

    Was really wondering if anyone had dealings with getting licemces to shoot cormanrants/gossanders/barancles from the little i know they are a pain to get and they give u a ridicualsy small number to shoot and ur only allowed to kill that number, allow being allowed to *****/oil eggs might be better but getting late for that now.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bogtrotter View Post
    Not on the general license now, can't even remember when they received protection, used to be a big market for their eggs which I am sure will also be illegal to collect now.

    Not sure but there way well be an exemption for dealing with nests on a building, don't know what you can do about them other than try to deter them from taking up residence on your pond.

    There was a chap in Airdrie with a couple of Eagle owls, the landfill sites used to use him, the owls were not flown just tethered on a post, very effective on gulls they did not seem to stay around long, but would probably scare of everything else as well.

    Sorry not much help.

    chap I met flies his golden eagles over landfill sites

  7. #7
    I got a licence a while back to remove all eggs and shoot 3 gulls from 300-400 nesting on a lochan that fed a private estate water supply which also provided water to small village . The water was foul with huge contamination from ecoli ect. The first year I applied for a licence when the gulls arrived late april/may the licence was granted September after they'd gone the next season I cleverly applied in jan to be told there were no gulls nesting therefore no licence! The third season after jumping up and down a bit bending the ear of any and everyone I could pester I applied for a licence again late april received paperwork 10 days later collected a 1000 or so eggs shot two birds and they,ve moved away from the water supply source to another lochan. So it is theoretically possible but you would need specific circumstances to get permission , my advise don't hold your breath.

  8. #8
    Cheers pitiliedon, that's sort off wot i thought the score might be. I take it is SNH u apply too. Seem's to have worked ok for u eventually thou, i take it it was the disturbance while collecting eggs rather than the shooting which moved them on? U have to wonder wot good shooting 2 birds out of 400 is going to achieve. Have they came back in the years after or now they have settled on new lochan are qute happy there? I also thought /been told it's sometimes better to ***** oil eggs instead off lifting them so they don't relay a 2nd batch, althou it is something i have never had to do.
    Cheers

  9. #9
    Yep SNH , Once the water testing from enviromental health was sent through they were content there was a good reason , i think it's just the practical application/ timings they didnt understand. We waited till most nests had two eggs , collected them all and dumped them ,then collected every day for about six maybe seven days , omlettes , scrambled eggs and a whole lot of baking, ( amazing victoria sponges) Most of the birds pulled out and left the area a few continued to try to nest , may have been late arrivals. By then we were sick of the eggs and just smashed them. I think one pair nested on a different lochan the first year and that colony has steadily built . I would say there.s probably 300 or so nesting this year but it's not a water supply loch . If you are not concerned with rotten eggs in the water just pricking the eggs and leaving them would work just as well. I do think the constant disturbance was probably 50% of the sucessful result.

  10. #10
    I think gulls eggs were regarded as a delicacy.

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