Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)
Species
Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla). Taken on the Farne Islands, Northumberland on June 4th 2008.
Taken on the Farne Islands, Northumberland on June 4th 2008.
(1/100th sec at f14. Click image for a larger version. © David Hastings)
Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla. Taken at Bempton Cliffs, E. Yorks, on July 1st 2014.
Taken at Bempton Cliffs, E. Yorks, on July 1st 2014.
(1/500th sec at f11. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

L: 37 - 42 cm; WS: 93 - 105 cm

The Kittiwake is a gentle-looking, medium-sized gull with a small yellow bill and a dark eye. It has a grey back and is white underneath. Its legs are short and black. In flight the black wing-tips show no white, unlike other gulls, and look as if they have been dipped in ink.

Kittiwakes can be found all around the British Isles, especially where there are sea-cliffs.

They breed colonially, sometimes in large numbers, on steep sea-cliffs.

The Kittiwake is only coastal during the breeding season. In autumn birds move out into the Atlantic where they spend the winter.

It has amber status on the British list, due to moderate population decline in some areas. Around 380000 pairs breed in Britain.

Sightings

21-May-2019 : Little Minch, Scotland
01-Jul-2014 : Bempton Cliffs, E. Yorks
06-May-2014 : Skomer, Pembrokeshire
02-Mar-2009 : La Gomera, Canary Islands
04-Jun-2008 : Farne Islands, Northumberland
02-Jun-2008 : Seahouses, Northumberland
25-Aug-2006 : Bempton Cliffs, E. Yorks
13-Jul-1999 : Isles of Scilly