Saturday, 11 July 2015

Kittiwake central on Dunbar Castle!

Dunbar castle, "once one of the most important strategic buildings in Scotland" is a superb spot on Scotland's east coast. A working fishing harbour nestles in behind the now ruined castle and on it's rock faces are hundreds of fantastic, noisy kittiwakes (hear their distinctive call). These black-legged kittiwake at Dunbar have been monitored over many years and a paper has been published on the population dynamics of this colony. Today was the annual kittiwake ringing day when, with specific permission, chicks are ringed and biometrics taken to add to add to the valuable scientific database. It is also a special chance to get close to these beautiful birds, and to get considerably covered in their generous white donations!

This superb photo is by Walter Baxter.

This young chick still has lots of growing to do. The nests themselves are made up of grasses and seaweed and mud and poo and all kinds of plastic string and bits of nylon rope - they are not fussy!