Monday, 21 March 2016

Mediterranean Gull.


During my visit to the old oyster beds on Hayling Island last week I finally managed to get some distant (cropped) shots of the Mediterranean Gull.

This east European seabird, once a rare visitor to the UK, has now become a widely established and nesting species after a somewhat long slow start. Its initial westward range expansion mainly occurred throughout the 1960's and 1970's with the first British breeding record on the south coast in 1968. However 20 years later there were only 16 nesting pairs which doubled by 1993 and in 2013 our summer population estimates were 600 pairs but with much larger winter visitor numbers. My first recorded sighting was in the Spring of 1996.

They are often found in the company of slightly smaller and less robust Black-headed Gulls, (two in the forefront above) which ironically have chocolate-brown summer hoods whereas the whiter-winged Med Gull actually has a jet black head during the nesting season, hence its scientific name Larus melanocephalus


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19 comments:

  1. Really nice, Frank. We saw some California Gulls outside of town on a slough a few days ago.

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  2. Funny looking seagull. Looks a bit like Black-headed Gulls

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  3. A very dark black head ... well done on getting these shots.

    All the best Jan

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  4. Good the see the 2 types of gulls together for compasion Frank

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  5. How beautiful these Gulls are Frank! We have had them down the road, but to far to travel, not this species, but others~

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  6. I love how they are so family oriented :)

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  7. Interesting gulls. They remind me of our Franklin's Gulls. I'll have to study these gulls some more. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Great pictures. I have been really lucky to get 3 on my local patch over the last few weeks, but you have to look through hundreds of Black Head Gulls to find one.

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  9. Super photos of the the Mediterranean Gulls. They are very striking with that black head.

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  10. Very nice photos of the gulls...... Michelle

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  11. Impressive increase in their population there, Frank. I really like the nesting photo. Have a great Wednesday!

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  12. Hi Frank,
    Interesting to read these gulls have established themselves in UK to quite a wide extent now.
    Thanks for sharing this info!
    In some areas in France they are quite a pest, being aggressive towards other species like Avocets or plovers, destroying nests and chicks.
    Best wishes

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  13. Hello!:) Nice to know that the Mediterranean Gull has increased it's numbers in the UK. It's a lovely looking gull.

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  14. Lovely to see and learn about this very different gull!

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  15. Great shots of these handsome gulls.

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  16. Lovely images of these birds.

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