The Mediterranean gull is one of our Top 20 birds. It takes two years to reach maturity and its plumage changes during this period. The breeding plumage adult is very distinctive, with a very pale grey back and white wing-tips, pure black hood and distinct white eye crescents. The dark red bill has a black and yellow tip. On the non-breeding adult the hood is reduced to an extensive dusky “bandit” mask through the eye. First-year birds have a black band on the tail and a more patterned back and wings.
It has undergone a dramatic range expansion in recent decades. A very rare UK bird until the 1950s, it is now widespread in winter and is breeding in ever increasing numbers. Numbers at Siddick Pond reach a peak in late-summer/autumn when up to 30 birds have been seen, most often on the brackish pond.Find out more in a school or group visit or just visit yourself and see what you can spot.