I have been following Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) at a number of sites around Scarborough this summer, but one particular location offers very good views, provided you take care not to disturb the birds too much. With a long lens, you don’t have to get too close, although the birds seem to be used to people taking pictures with their mobile phone cameras. They have chosen to nest in a place which is at eye level and have nested here for a number of years; I think they are fairly immune (or acclimated) to humans. They nest on window sills of the Grand Hotel: let’s call these Nests (or Pairs) 1, 2 and 3, from left to right (below).
There are more desirable – at least to my eyes – nesting sites on the hotel, but they are all occupied!
In mid April, the pair on Nest 1 were clearly in a romantic mood (below).
One month later, they were incubating eggs (below).
A great deal of nest building had gone on prior to this, during early May.
By 24 June, they had a little chick which was already exercising its wings (below).
There were two chicks on Nest 2, and one on Nest 3 (below).
One of the chicks on Nest 2 was clearly visible when I went back on 28 June (below)
The chicks are now starting to grow much larger, and the parents are probably feeling exhausted, flying back and forth – out to sea – to catch fish for their hungry offspring.
It is easy to get very close shots, using a long lens (150-600mm) without disturbing them too much (I hope).
One of the adults on Nest 3 was tucked up and asleep today (5 July 2020), a cold and windy day.
The pair of chicks on Nest 2 were looking very lively, and the wings are developing fast!
We are, I think, blessed to have these beautiful birds living amongst us, even if they do make a bit of a mess!