Conservation status: Amber
Slightly larger than a black-headed gull, with an all-black head in the breeding season. Adults have white wing-tips and underwings, younger birds have more wing markings. It has a large, slightly drooped beak, bright red when adult. A very rare UK bird until the 1950s, it is widespread in winter and breeding in ever increasing numbers. Its present UK breeding population makes it an Amber List species.
Where to see them
Mainly found along the east and south coasts of England. Most of the breeding population nest within black-headed gull colonies at coastal wetlands. More widespread in winter with some beaches in Norfolk and Kent attracting more than a hundred Mediterranean gulls. Also found inland in small numbers wherever black-headed and common Gulls gather (especially in roosts on reservoirs).
When to see them
All year round.
What they eat
Insects, fish, offal and carrion.
|Europe||UK breeding*||UK wintering*||UK passage*|
|-||110 pairs||1,800 birds||-|