birding-aus Kelp Gulls

Subject: birding-aus Kelp Gulls
From: Bette Mitchell <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 22:00:36 +1000
In the 9 years that I have been counting Hooded Plovers in the
Mornington Peninsula National Park(south of Melbourne)I have noticed an
increase in the number of Kelp Gulls. They used to be a real rarity but
for the last 2/3 years I see them on most counts, groups of up to 5 in
various stages of development.

They are nesting on Phillip Island and Peter Dann(biologist,Phillip
Island nature reserve)is monitoring their numbers and I assist him by
counting my stretch of beach in a co-ordinated count.

The question is, will Kelps impact on our endemic Pacific Gull given its
restricted range. I have certainly seen Kelp Gulls harrassing Pacific
Gulls in a similar way to an Arctic Jaegar, a mid air confrontation
where the Kelp appeared to be trying to wrest food from the Pacific.

I am amazed at the fairly sudden increase in their numbers. I even have
them flying over my house fairly regularly, they are much more vocal in
flight than the Pacific and to me they sound similar to the European
Herring Gull .

Has anyone else noticed an increase in their numbers?

This is my third attempt to send this message!! The gremlins are at work
                                                    Bett Mitchell

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