Excited bird watchers at Attenborough Nature Reserve on Monday spotted a young Mediterranean gull chick amongst the black-headed gull colony on Clifton Pond.
Originally from the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, this is the first time a pair of Mediterranean gulls has successfully bred in Nottinghamshire.
Local birders first spotted two adult birds around the gull island in late April and noted the fact the birds stayed in the area, including on a number of occasions, mating.
Throughout early May one of the Mediterranean gulls could be seen sitting on what appeared to be a nest, where it was regularly being fed by its partner. As the month went by, the vegetation grew up around the nest and the adults could no longer be seen.
A long wait followed with much debate as to whether the eggs had failed to hatch – or indeed whether there was a nest there at all.
Finally on Monday morning a regular birder spotted a chick from the viewing screen on the River Trent Path, confirming that the birds had bred successfully for the first time in the county.
Whilst they first bred in the UK in 1968, only a handful of birds nested each year up until the early 90s. A national survey of seabirds undertaken between 1998 and 2002 (the Seabird 2000 Census) recorded 110 breeding pairs, although these were largely restricted to the south and east coast of England.
Numbers have increased in recent years however the Mediterranean gull remains an amber listed species in the UK, the second highest level of conservation.