December 10th   Leave a comment

The fulmars have been back to their nesting ledges in Crail. They desert them to moult during the autumn, but then come back to visit throughout the winter. I was watching them soar along Castle Walk yesterday, and pairs can be seen together actually sitting on their nests as if breeding. It’s interesting how they manage to synchronise because fulmars don’t stay in pairs when out at sea for periods of weeks. Perhaps it’s just coincidence because I can only see the pairs that have arrived back at the same time by chance. But I suspect one of a pair comes back and hangs around until its mate does. Fulmars have a lot invested in pair bonds – a pair can stay together for decades – maybe even a half century. It is probably worth a fulmar’s while to hang around and demonstrate their commitment to next year’s breeding season.

Winter fulmars yesterday on Inchkeith island, further down the Forth (JA)

Posted December 10, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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