Tuesday, 24 May 2016

WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY - Gobbins Walk (Part 2) Kittiwakes

Yesterday we started our walk on the Gobbins cliff-path and if you missed it, CLICK HERE for the link to Part 1. Today I am showing you some photographs and VIDEO of the Kittiwake that I saw on the cliffs.


Kittiwakes have a white head and body, grey back, grey wings tipped solid black and a yellow bill with black legs. 
Adults are 16 in in length with a wingspan of 35–39 in.


In contrast to the dappled chicks of other gull species, Kittiwake chicks are downy and white since they are under relatively little threat of predation, as the nests are on extremely steep cliffs. Unlike other gull chicks which wander around as soon as they can walk, Kittiwake chicks instinctively sit still in the nest to avoid falling off.  Juveniles take three years to reach maturity. 





When in winter plumage, they have a dark grey smudge behind the eye
 and a grey hind-neck collar. 




The sexes are visually indistinguishable.




They are the only gull species that are exclusively cliff-nesting.





 If the video does not appear below, CLICK HERE.  



I hope you enjoyed seeing the Kittiwakes today and are rested as tomorrow we continue on our energetic walk round the Gobbins cliff-path.

I am linking this post with WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY.

Many thanks for your visit and also to all who leave comments.

57 comments:

  1. Hi Margaret, what an interesting post. I wouldn't have known that these Kittiwakes are the only gull species who cliff-nest. Your photos are AMAZING. Your camera zooms in beautifully to show the birds close up. Wow. Thanks for sharing. Blessings Jo

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  2. The Kittiwakes are pretty, and their tails look like scissors. That far away shot of them high on the rocks is really stupendous! The whole thing looks like you were climbing the cliffs following them!

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed seeing the Kittiwakes today. Climbing we did but not up the cliff face. You will see more of the path tomrrow Ginny.

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  3. HI Jo So glaad you enjoyed this post. Yes someone would be forgiven for thinking Fulmars were gulls. However, they look superficially like gulls, but are unrelated, and are in fact petrels. More to come tomorrow.

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  4. They are lovely things - I am surprised that they aren't in danger from predators from the skies though...

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  5. They are sociable birds it's ages since I've seen a colony.

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  6. They are very pretty birds. Looks like you were cliff climbing so close to the birds.

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    1. It does look like that but the birds were actually quite a distance from us.

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  7. Wonderful captures. I'm really enjoying your walk.

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    1. I knew you would enjoy this walk Laura.

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  8. Fotografias fantásticas.
    Um abraço e continuação de uma boa semana.

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    1. Estoy contenta de que gustó las fotografías.

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  9. greats shots of the Kittiwakes Margaret.

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  10. Gorgeous shots of these unique birds! Hoping you didn't rappel down the cliff to get these!

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    1. NO still in one piece and so are the others.

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  11. Hi Sweet Friend, I love love love those little birds... Your posts about the Kittiwakes is SO interesting. AND--you are getting some exercise while searching for these cute little guys....

    Great posts.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. Yes, beautiful scenery, brd watching adn exercise all at one time Betsy.

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  12. Margaret,
    Your photos are beautiful and the gulls are wonderful.
    Greetings.
    Lucja

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  13. The first picture cracks me up it looks like the gull is looking right at ya! Love it!

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    1. I agree, I had thought of putting a title to the first 4 shots but decided not to.

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  14. Lovley series and the love video to ,Nette

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    1. Glad you are enjoying both the stills and video

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  15. I really like the very first one! Perfect angle. Very fine shots, Margaret!

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  16. Hello, they look so much like the gulls. I would have a hard time iding the Kittiwakes. Beautiful photos and a great video! Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day and week ahead!

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    1. well here Eileen no other gull has black legs so I think you would not have a problem ID ing them

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  17. Wow - you really got up close with those birds!

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  18. Kittiwakes really are beautiful birds. Ones you can watch for hours and hours.

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    1. I agree. I coul dhave stayed longer but we were not allowed to linger on this tour.

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  19. That is fascinating..instinct keeps the babies still, and that was my first thought when I read that...oh my gosh, those babies will fall off. Still, I wonder how many do accidentally walk off the edge. Super shots!

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    1. They are pretty smart adn it is inbuilt into them, not to move.

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  20. Peut-être notre oiseau préféré, certainement parce que nous sommes parvenus à percer quelques uns de ses secrets ;-)
    Céline & Philippe

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    1. Glad vous avez apprécié cet oiseau

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  21. Great sketches of the lives of Kittiwakes!
    Have a nice day!

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  22. Nature never ceases to amaze! Thank you so much for all you share.

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    1. it's my pleasure to share with others.

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  23. These are amazing close-up shots.The birds have such a smooth look.

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    1. Yes I agree with you. I always think this is a very gentle gull in comparison to our other gulls here.

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  24. they look very curious about the world

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    1. Yes, I think you also would be curious if all these people walking way below you were pointing cameras at you Adam!!

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  25. This is my first introduction to the Kittiwakes. I feel like I have heard of them before but can't remember how far back that goes. Your photos are a joy Margaret. The first shot is a great start to this wonderful post. Thank you!

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  26. Hi Denise I am so glad you are enjoying this series from there Gobbins walk. More to come.

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  27. The Kittiwakes are gorgeous birds. Some wonderful shots here Margaret.

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  28. I saw this bird when I visited Scotland It is a very beautiful gull :)

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  29. Hello! Interesting post and nice photos!

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  30. We saw Kittiwakes in Alaska, but I certainly did not get such wonderful pictures. These are fabulous.

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  31. Possibly my favourite gull, only see them in autumn here. I did see them nesting on buildings in Newcastle last year though.........

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  32. They're gorgeous birds! I can understand why the chicks need to sit still and not wander off.

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