This bird has a deceptive name – they’re not our most common gull. The ones we see frequently on the Tittybottle Park railings, for example, are nearly always Black Headed Gulls. There is an argument that Common actually referred to their habit of feeding on common land (short pasture used for grazing) in the winter. A less well-used name is Sea Mew, which is Dutch in origin. I like the RSPB’s description of the appearance of the Common Gull: “like a smaller, gentler version of the Herring Gull”. In Otley for the winter, they return to the coast for the spring and summer. They are omnivores: for example they may hunt small prey or scavenge amongst the rubbish at landfill sites.
By Neil Griffin Photo by Pixabay