Kittiwakes, the beautiful gull named after the haunting sound of its call, are our most numerous breeding gulls but their decline is shocking: the 2014 survey puts populations at 28% of their numbers in 1986 and this year’s figures are worse. This medium-sized gull, with black legs, yellow bill and wings described as looking as though they have been ‘dipped in ink’ spends nearly half its year out at sea but nests on sea-cliffs and recently, as in Newcastle-Gateshead, on buildings and bridges that resemble cliffs. Like Puffins, also in decline, it feeds on shoals of sand eels and small fish, particularly over-fished and reducing off
our Eastern coasts. Conditions: Clear and sunny. Temperature: Max 6- Min 1C.