Hi Andrew and others,
I did some detailed observations on silver gulls in Sydney Harbour in
2008/ 2009. At the time they were breeding on Cockatoo Island (~1000
nests at peak), Goat IsIand (~300 nests at peak) and Snapper Island
(~300 nests at peak). These numbers are approximate as I don't have
access to my notes today. There were smaller numbers at Pyrmont (on
the old bridge, rock aprons and in abandoned boats awaiting disposal
by maritime). They roost on the old bridge (under the Anzac Bridge) at
night too. I also saw small numbers of nests on the naval barges
moored off Snapper Island, however there appears to be less of these
around at present. Apparently they have at times nested on Garden
Island but I never confirmed this.
I found active nest year round but most of the nesting occurred
between late August/ Early September and usually declined by February
with only a few nests in March.
On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 02:47:16PM +1100, Andrew Taylor wrote:
> As I understand it, every year a few Silver Gulls nest on pilings and
> moored boats in quieter parts of Sydney Harbour like Homebush Bay,
> but this is the first time larger numbers have bred in Sydney since
> 1992 when there was a colony in derelict barges in Rozelle Bay
And my understanding was wrong, there is a colony on Cockatoo Island
(thanks Chris & Graham) and its mentioned in the management plan.
There also seems to be breeding on nearby Goat & Snapper islands.
I'm not sure how long they've been breeding at Cockatoo Island but they
are said to have been breeding on Goat Island since 2004.
A 1992 paper by Smith & Carlile attempts to list all breeding sites near
Sydney and doesn't mention breeding on these islands. The barges in
Rozelle Bay were removed in 1991 so perhaps the gulls simply relocated -
the Cockatoo Island shipyards ceased operations about 1992.
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