Tarāpunga / red-billed gulls nest extension

The tarāpunga that nest under the Panmure bridge are heavily impacted by humans, the national population is in decline. While deploying a nesting structure for tara / white-fronted tern yesterday we also added a small extension to the Panmure tarāpunga nesting structure. We upcycled old wood which fitted the rustic nature of the old bridge. The six nesting areas were c35cm x 25cm. The gulls were already a few weeks into nesting with some three eggs nests. As the colony is currently space limited I think the structure will help, but we may have been a bit late deploying. The gulls also nest on boats in the estuary so if some get disturbed they may move to the main colony. It was promising to see two gulls having a tussle over the new nesting area while we exited the estuary.

Photo taken 5:30pm 18 September. Gulls regularly seen on the platform, but not sitting.
Photo taken 2 November. Success!
Photo taken on pole camera shows six nests.

I checked many old boats moored in the Estuary and did not find any with nests which is great. One pair of gulls nested on a post, another on a jetty where it’s likely to be disturbed. There is a clear case for extending the nesting platform in 2023.

This photo of a parent attending a chick in the current upstream from the colony indicates there may be some benefits to creating a ramp of sorts for the juveniles.
New addition added. Noted 8 infertile eggs on site, one dead chick, two chicks remaining, no dead birds with fishing line attached but any bodies may have been blown into the estuary by the cyclone. Some fishing line removed from site. One fledgling was in the water and calling, it would be good to have a ramp or additional floating area(s), this may reduce chick mortality and would definitely reduce colony stress.