Under-rated Kittiwakes

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Adult Kittiwakes on the Isle of May

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Young Kittiwakes on the island

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Different to an adult

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Waiting patiently for parents to return

Tuesday 13th August comments: The Isle of May seabird breeding season is coming to a close for another year and it’s good to see so many young birds taking to the wing and fledged. One species which is currently very evident around the island are our Kittiwakes with young fledgers scattered across the Isle (this year we had 3,061 pairs nest on the island) and appears to have been a reasonable breeding season.

These small elegant cliff-nesting Gulls are often overlooked and underrated but at this time of year the distinctive youngsters can be seen (the young have black and white markings and look very different to adults (as shown in the photos above). Eventually the ‘Kitts’ will depart north and some will go as far as Greenland for the winter.

Until then we’ll enjoy the sight of these wonderful birds and hope the population continues to do well as over the last twenty years the British Isles have seen a 44% reduction in their population (a huge concern for conservationists) but it’s good to have them doing well.

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