Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus)
Species
Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus). Juvenile. Taken at Titchwell, Norfolk, on June 9th 2018.
Juvenile. Taken at Titchwell, Norfolk, on June 9th 2018.
(1/2000th sec at f14. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

L: 24 - 28 cm; WS: 62 - 69 cm

A small, dainty gull, only two-thirds the size of a Black-headed Gull. Adults in summer have black heads, while young birds have a black mark on each wing which forms a 'W' pattern. In flight adults show a pale grey upperwing, with no black wingtips, and a dark grey underwing. For most of the year three age groups can be identified.

It is a migrant, wintering along western European and Mediterranean coasts, and breeding in northern Europe and Russia.

Breeding habitat is freshwater marshes. The nest is usually among vegetation in shallow water.

It feeds by picking small items off the water surface, and it also hawks flying insects.

It has green status on the UK list. Between 400 and 800 birds overwinter in the British Isles, and up to 700 may pass through on spring migration.

Sightings

28-Apr-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
21-Apr-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (30+)
17-Apr-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (5)
10-Apr-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (7)
07-Apr-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (6)

09-Jun-2018 : Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk (7)
01-Apr-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
03-May-2015 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)