July 31st   Leave a comment

The fulmars that nest on the cliff below Castle Walk are never very successful at breeding. Some years several pairs sit all summer and don’t get off a single chick. This evening there was one well grown chick, at least, on the lower cliff below the viewpoint sign. Even though it is a very big ball of fluff, it will be another month before it fledges. There were no adults about at all. They will be far out to sea collecting fish to be regurgitated in a very oily soup when they visit the chick again every few days. Fulmar chicks can be left alone because they are so big, but also because they defend themselves by projectile vomiting at any intruders the same oily fish soup that their parents fed them – but much more digested and nasty smelling. It is a great defence. I have been vomited on by a fulmar and it still makes me cringe in memory: our very own sea skunk.

Cute and still flightless, but not defenceless: the fulmar chick on Castle Walk this evening (WC)

Posted July 31, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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