I realised today, when looking through my folder of photos for prepping blogs, that I have a couple of birds from my trip to Northumberland back in May that I haven’t yet blogged about. So, let’s put that right.
I actually saw – and heard – my first Kittiwakes in Scotland, in Dunbar, where the birds nest on cliffs right on the edge of the town’s harbour. It’s a precarious site but that doesn’t bother these noisy birds, who seem constantly to remind you of their name with their onomatopoeic call.
I next saw Kittiwakes when we sailed out to the Farne Islands. Once again, they were perched on impossibly small ledges of rock, sharing these spots on the tall craggy cliffs with Guillemots and Razorbills and Cormorants.
On the Farnes, I managed to get a much closer look at these beautiful gulls. Something about their face makes them look softer and more gentle than their Herring gull cousins – perhaps it’s their smaller, less savage-looking beak.
Kittiwakes only come to the Farnes during the summer months to breed. Once their young are fledged, they’ll all head back to the Atlantic to spend the winter, dipping down into the deep waters for fish and shrimps to eat, then soaring high above the ocean waves.