Study show rare gulls flying south to resort

Lesser black-backed gulls have been visiting Blackpool.
Lesser black-backed gulls have been visiting Blackpool.
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A protected species of gull is making day trips to Blackpool, experts have discovered after kitting out the birds with state-of-the-art GPS tags.

Scientists from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) have been analysing data from tags attached to 25 less black-backed gulls breeding on 
Walney Island in Cumbria.

It is part of a project studying how the birds use existing offshore wind farms, and areas of the marine environment earmarked for future development of offshore wind turbines.

They have found many of the gulls are making the 50-mile round trips down the coast to Blackpool.

Dr Viola Ross-Smith, of the BTO, said: “These tags are giving us fascinating information on the behaviour and ecology of Walney’s lesser black-backed gulls.”

Matt Lipton, a warden at Cumbria Wildife Trust’s South Walney Nature Reserve, added: “This has been a very exciting project to be involved with, and I am eagerly awaiting our gulls return next year to find out what they have been up to throughout the winter.”