What am I?
I am a small gull.
Where do I come from?
I am different to most of the other Bird Aware birds as I visit the Solent to breed and raise my young during May – July. Then we mostly migrate to the Mediterranean, as our name suggests.
A bit about me
I like to eat all sorts of things like insects, spiders, worms and fish.
You will see me feeding around the shore in many places. Watch out though I look very similar to my friends the black-headed gulls. In the summer we both have dark heads – although I actually have a jet black head whereas they have brown heads. In the winter we all lose our dark heads and just have plain white heads so it’s even more difficult to tell us apart!
Listen out for our cat-like characteristic ‘meeow’ call – that’s the easiest way to be sure.
The Solent has a special place in our hearts as it is the first place in Britain where we started breeding back in 1968 – at Needs Ore Point, New Forest. There are now hundreds of us attempting to breed around the Solent with Langstone Harbour being our favourite spot.
As we are quite a new bird in Britain, originally only found around the Mediterranean, some people get very excited about us.
I’m a qualifying feature for the Solent and Southampton Water Special Protection Area – that means, when the site was designated, a nationally significant number of us used these awesome coastlines in the winter.
I sound a bit like a cat!