The hustle and bustle of the Black-headed gulls in their mating and breeding frenzy is well in the past as we move into winter. Calm is restored to their colony and the sound of their squabbling is quiet most of the time. Then someone throws a bird some food and from nowhere others swoop in from all directions and the noise starts up for a few minutes.
I spent 1/2 an hour today sitting on the step of our van feeding the gulls so I could capture some images of these birds so often overlooked.
- Length: 13.4-14.6 in (34-37 cm)
- Weight: 6.7-14.1 oz (190-400 g)
- Wingspan: 39.4-43.3 in (100-110 cm)
The black-headed gull is the most widely distributed seabird breeding in the UK, The majority of the breeding population are resident throughout the year, with numbers being greatly increased during the winter months by birds from northern and eastern Europe.
Up until the 1940s, there was commercial exploitation of Black-headed Gull breeding colonies which saw the collection of eggs and the taking of birds for meat. This was on an industrial scale with almost 300,000 eggs per year being sold at Leadenhall Market in London during the 1930s.