July 14th   Leave a comment

The warm weather came back for us today with a high of 23 degrees. And although yesterday was fairly dreich I think this was probably better than the 32 degrees of further south.

A signature noise of Crail at the moment is the high pitched, whining whistle of young gulls on the flat roofs and chimney stacks. Even as the gulls fledge the chicks keep following their parent – sometimes for months – making their very insistent and penetrating calls constantly. Whatever you think about herring gulls you have to admire the parents’ continued devoted attention to their offspring despite this ceaseless onslaught. The parents are very jumpy at the moment, so perhaps the calls do put them on edge. Whenever I head out into my back garden a herring gull or two will start making a warning “gow-gow-gow” call even though I am meters below their chick on my rooftop.

The eider chicks are growing steadily. Most are now of a size that makes them safe enough from the great black-backed gulls. There are still ten or so chicks at Roome Bay and the same at the harbour. The males have almost completely disappeared. They moult in July and August, but clearly not in Crail.

An eider with well grown chicks - big enough now that they will probably make it to adulthood

An eider with well grown chicks – big enough now that they will probably make it to adulthood

I am away to Tanzania for a month tomorrow. My apologies but Wild Crail will be on hold until about the 18th August when I return. I’m bound to miss a few things while I’m away but hopefully the 600 odd bird species I hope to see there (and a few mammals of course) will make up :-). Please do have a look at the archives for this time last year and the year before to get a rough idea of what should be about during the month I am away.

Posted July 14, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

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