Kittiwakes are a species of seabird that are found in coastal regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They are a small, white gull that are often seen flying in large flocks along the coasts of North America, Europe, and Asia. Down here in Seaford East Sussex we are lucky to have one of the last colonies of Kittiwakes in the South East. Our Seven sisters Boat trip has a fantastic view of Seaford head where you can spot this large Colony at Splash Point. These fascinating birds spend half the year wandering the Atlantic, only to return in February to secure the best spot on the towering chalk cliffs before the busy summer season begins.
Kittiwakes are a social species and they can often be seen flying in large, noisy flocks along the coasts. They feed mainly on small fish, crustaceans, and plankton which they catch by plunging into the sea from a great height. They breed in colonies on cliffs, ledges, and other rocky areas, and they lay their eggs in a shallow depression on the ground. From our experience with these birds we observe closely on our boats thousands of them perched and nesting on our cliffs. Once mating season has begun we hear them loudly voicing their famous call “Kittee-wa-aaake”
Kittiwakes are an important part of the marine ecosystem, as they help to keep the coastal waters clean by feeding on small fish, crustaceans, and plankton. They are also an important part of the economy, as their eggs are harvested for food in some areas.
They are a fascinating species of bird that can provide hours of entertainment for birdwatchers. They are a beautiful species to watch in flight, and they are sure to provide plenty of memories for those who take the time to observe them. So, why not head to the East Sussex coast, book your Seven sisters Boat trip and see if you can spot some kittiwakes? You won’t regret it!