Kittiwake skies

Further to my last post about my nesting blackbirds, you may guess that I love watching birds collecting up material for their nests. I help them along, by leaving suitable materials hanging by the shed. Most of my garden birds are pretty common, but I can’t imagine there are many gardens in Britain where you can watch the nesting behaviour of kittiwakes..

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But to my amazement when I came home from work one May afternoon, that’s exactly what I got to see. The council had cut the grass on the fields nearby leaving the grass cuttings loose, and the kittiwakes that nest at Seaford Head spotted it! That first day I spotted up to thirty birds a minute fly past me (standing open mouthed on the balcony), west to the field, and eastwards back to the cliffs with a beak full of grass. Single minded, determined and totally focused on the task in hand. Back and forwards, back and forwards. In fact you could spot them for weeks afterwards until no loose grass was left anywhere.

Where else could you sit in your garden and take photos like this..

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Sadly I don’t think it was a great year for the Seaford kittiwakes. Due to the closure of Splash point due to storm damage, it was difficult to get a good view into the colony, but the twitchers’ consensus seemed to be that there were a lot less chicks than in previous years. And I couldn’t get near enough to get any good photos

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When the chicks finally fledge, and the colony takes off to sea where they spend the Winter, I miss them. I miss the warm evenings and mornings when I can hear the noise that such a large colony of birds make from my bedroom window.

So I’m happy to see them back! Soon they will be watching out for the council mowers to arrive, and I’ll be watching them.

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