Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The vast majority of the guillemots have left the cliffs now, and headed out to sea until next year. Those that remain are the ones that will have lost their first egg early in the season, and re-laid which means they now have chicks that are not old enough to leave the cliffs even though all their neighbours have. They are definitely missing the safety in numbers that guillemots usually enjoy, crowded together on ledges. Its rather sad to see these birds isolated and out in the open, desperately trying to protect their chick from being predated by gulls and crows.

The white guano shows where all the guillemots were until they left the cliffs in the last few weeks. Can you spot the four lonely birds left behind?

The middle bird is hiding the chick under its wing. You will often get groups of birds protecting a chick, and sometimes you will see one bird with more than one chick under its wing.

The chick is now out in the open - not too far off being able to leave the cliffs by the look of it, but it could still be got by a gull which has hungry chicks of its own.

It must be incredibly stressful for these birds. The guillemot lying down has a chick under its wing, and the standing bird is literally fighting off the herring gull which is many times its size.


No comments:

Post a Comment