Kittiwake - Rissa tridactyla

    Alt Name
    Black-legged Kittiwake

    Similar to Common Gull, the Kittiwake is a medium-sized gull with a small yellow bill and a dark eye. It has a grey back and is white underneath. It has short black legs and black feet. (Common Gull has yellow legs and feet). In flight the black wing-tips show no white, unlike other gulls. Juveniles have a striking black zig-zag marking above similar to Little Gull but are slightly larger, have a more powerful flight and have a dark patch over the ear coverts


    A strictly coastal gull. In the breeding season, look for it at seabird colonies around the UK. In late summer and autumn it can be seen flying past offshore, or collecting at roosts. It spends the winter months out at sea.

    When to see it

    The best time to see them is on the breeding grounds in spring and summer - they arrive back at the colonies from February, staying until August. Passage birds can be commonly seen offshore from August to October. During gales, they can be recorded inland at lakes and reservoirs.

    UK Status

    Approximately 380,000 breeding pairs

    VC55 Status

    Scarce to uncommon passage or storm-driven visitor

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map