Such good parents!

Kittiwakes are such good parents! They each spend roughly the same amount of time on the nest looking after the chick(s), whilst the other goes in search of food. During the day, each bird is away from the nest for about 2 hours and 48 minutes (on average) apparently, searching for food to bring back…

Palawan peacock-pheasant

The Palawan peacock-pheasant, Polyplectron napoleonis, is endemic to the island of Palawan in the Philippines. I was not sure how easy it would be to see this species during my visit in April, but it proved to be surprising easy. The best site to see one is probably at the Puerto Princesa (formerly St Paul’s) Subterranean River…

Harbour sparrows

Much has been written about the demise of House Sparrows in the UK, which according to the BTO have declined in numbers by nearly 71% since 1977 (1). There are a number of reasons for this decline, including increased pollution, increased predation by resurgent sparrow-hawks and a loss of suitable nesting sites. Crab or lobster…

The amazing Purple Sandpiper!

A small flock of Purple Sandpipers overwinter in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, every year. It is very easy to see these beautiful birds roosting just above the water on the artificial concrete sea defences on the East Pier of Scarborough Harbour. They fly off to feed on nearby locations were they feed on a variety of marine…

Peck me here! Butterfly predation.

It is said that  50% of wild butterflies are killed and eaten before they get a chance to mate and reproduce (1). Poor things! One way to avoid being eaten is to divert the lethal pecks of predatory birds towards body parts that can be sacrificed in the interests of survival. Obtaining direct evidence for…

Little beggars!

Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) are a common sight all around the harbour, during the winter, in Scarborough. Many of them have been fitted with coloured leg rings and flags (PVC) which is part of an ornithological study to investigate where they migrate to in the summer. Turnstones which have been ringed in Great Britain & Ireland have…

Kittiwake kittiwake!

The cliffs along Marine Drive, Scarborough, are bare and strangely quiet now that winter is coming. The kittiwakes have long since left and are far away, over the ocean. Only a pair of lonely peregrine falcons keep watch on the cliffs now, waiting patiently for their sandeel-packed lunches to return in the new year! According…

Heron Food II

Retirement is having enough time to sit and watch herons feeding! I watched this Grey heron (Ardea cinerea) feeding in a rock pool, at low tide, at Scalby Mills, which is located at the north end of North Bay, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. It had just discovered and picked up a fish – maybe a grey gurnard?…

A young turnstone

I came across this turnstone on the edge of the Ria Ortigueira. It was busily feeding – yes they really do turn over stones! – looking for invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, molluscs) along the shoreline. It looked young, and was extremely ‘confiding’ as bird watchers say. Almost fool hardy in fact; not flying or moving away…