Juvenile herring gulls following gannets

When I came across this melee of seabirds, just off the East Pier in Scarborough, I was a bit confused at first about what was going on! There were large numbers of juvenile Herring gulls taking off and landing in the water. What were they doing? After a while, I realised that there were a…

Gannets on granite: Ailsa Craig

Ailsa Craig rises up out of the Firth of Clyde, rounded and rugged, a gigantic lump of rock hard granite. I had the pleasure of sailing past this small island, 1 .2 km in diameter and home to over 35,000 pairs of northern gannets (Morus bassanus) last month, on a short, three-day cruise out of Liverpool. Ailsa…

Northern Gannets at Bempton cliffs

Northern Gannets at Bempton cliffs. The great news about gannets – the northern gannet (Sula bassana) – is that their numbers are increasing (2). With all the horror stories about wildlife suffering depredations – mainly at the hands of Man – around the world today, its uplifting to find a species that is actually thriving. They…

Northern Gannets at Bempton cliffs

Gannets are amazing! Not only are they sublimely beautiful – well the adults are, perhaps not the chicks! – but they exhibit such marvellous aerial behaviour: soaring flight, hovering and plunge diving. Northern gannets only lay one egg and they take very good care of their offspring, brooding the chick to keep it warm and…