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…

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…

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?…

New gulls on the block!

I have watched the new Herring Gulls growing up this summer in Scarborough. Starting off as ugly ducklings (gullings!) on the roofs where they hatched out, waiting for their parents to come back and feed them something tasty. They are still begging in September, when their parents fly past, but they are learning to fend…

Rocky the (one-legged!) Rock Pipit

Rock Pipits (Anthus petrosus) are a common sight amongst the rocks and concrete blocks bordering the sea on Marine Drive, Scarborough. Rock Pipits – which rarely breed more than 100m above sea level – clearly like to nest in clefts in and amongst these rocks, despite the large numbers of people and cars which move along…