Gulls are the most commonly seen wildlife on the East Coast Trail, you are likely to spot at least 1 of these 3 types on any hike:
The herring gull is the most vocal of the three, it is quick to complain when you approach a nest site, even when that nest site is hidden from view and far below the trail, and your approach is unintentional. As a result, a coastal hike in June is usually accompanied by one of these gulls, just because it’s keeping an eye on you.
The great black-backed gull is bigger than the herring gull, but less numerous. As is usually the case with bigger birds, they are more suspicious of hikers than the little guys are.
At a glance, the kittiwake may look similar to the herring gull, but it is much smaller. Black legs and eyes set it apart too, and its beak is a paler yellow. These small gulls are more ‘wild’ than the others, as they do not venture into town to hang out at drive-thru restaurants. This individual is carrying nesting material to the colony at Church Cove.