Kittiwake Count


Known as the kind face gull


Kittiwake fledger

Recently fledged youngster

Thursday 10th August comments: It is another success story for our Kittiwake population; the numbers have increased by 22% to 3,507 breeding pairs.  This is very pleasing to see as the population fell last year by 15% and we are now back up to a similar population than we had in 2015.  Last year was a dip and it seems many had just taken a year off breeding and have come back in 2017 fighting fit for another season.

Kittiwakes chicks have now fledged the nest but they are still hanging around the island with the adults forming large roosts at the south end and on the loch sides.  It won’t be long until they leave the island for their winter travels. Kittiwakes head out to sea and spread far across the North Atlantic and North Sea, they can be seen off the coast of the Norwegian coast and across to Canada.

The populations of this gregarious gull have seen huge declines in the northern isles and up in to Scandinavia. However the populations on the Isle of May and in other parts of the North Sea are relatively stable and in some cases are thriving. We hope this continues and through our studies we will keep monitoring their progress.

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