Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 112 - Kittiwake (Black-Legged Kittiwake)

This is the last of my series of bird post from the cliffs of the Farne Islands.

In the UK this bird is known as (just) the Kittiwake - elsewhere  the Black-Legged part is added to the front of the name.  This is a nice example of why the scientific name is useful, because whatever its local name, its formal name is always Rissa tridactyla.

This is a rather gentle looking birds - and although its in the same general group as most gulls, it is not in the classic gull genus - Larus.

It name seems to be an onomatopoeic rendering of its call on the nesting site - described in BWP as "kitti-wa-a-k"!  However, for most of the time this bird is rather less noisy than most other gulls.

As you can see it nests on sheer cliffs and rock faces.  I can only assume that the chicks are born with a head for heights!


with razorbills and guillemot 




photo-bombed by a puffin!
 Now it's over to you - click away and link up!




39 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

such a pretty nesting colony! love the soft look of their plumage.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Awesome!!!! You have shared some fantastic birds with us.

Marie said...

Fantastic birds! Love how they nest on the rock ledges, and their chicks are so cute! Do they fall into the water learning to fly, I wonder! I am so impressed that you used the word onomatopoeia in a post! :-) That isn't something one often sees! :-)

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

That nesting colony is certainly busy. The kittiwakes are more delicate-looking than other gulls. I saw both Black-legged and Red-legged Kittiwakes in Alaska.

bailey-road.com said...

They are beautiful birds. It's really neat to see the colony up close.
Love the little photobomber!

EG CameraGirl said...

Kittiwakes certainly do build their nests in precarious places!

Sharon Wagner said...

The fluffy chicks against the rock face are great shots!

Findlay Wilde said...

I wouldn't mind a Puffin photo bombing any of my pictures. From Findlay

Jo said...

Oh those are sheer cliffs! And what stunning photos of the birds and chicks on the nests. thanks for sharing. I'll add my link tomorrow when my post appears. Greetings, Jo

NatureFootstep said...

walking down the memory lane :)
So nice to see your images and remember my own trip to Scotland 2 years ago.

And now, I´m off to Australia. :) Will be birding in Queensland for three weeks.

Phil Slade said...

Your first picture depicts the sheer beauty of a Kittiwake Stewart. Unfortunately here on the west coast of Lancashire the only real time we see them is a fly bys after a South Westerly gale.

Thanks for hosting Wednesday's birds again.

Mama Zen said...

I love the little, fluffy baby!

Christian Weiß said...

Looks like a fascinating place for birding.

Gunilla Bäck said...

A beautiful bird with cute chicks. The nesting colony looks busy and dangerous. There's not much room on the ledges.

Adam Jones said...

The Kittiwake is a lovely bird and your first picture of it does it proud.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

beautiful birds. We can forget that since they are so ubiquitous.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

What an amazing nesting colony. The advantage to building nests in those places is that it makes it hard for predators to reach!

mick said...

Great photos and it would be wonderful to see so many birds like that.

Brian King said...

You're on a roll with the shorebirds! I like how you showed them in their cliff environment, too. Beautiful photos!

Frank said...

Excellent images Stewart.

A definite rarity for me in a land-locked County but its call will give it away if one ever flies over.

Susan (ABON) said...

I'm amazed at their nesting location...that's living on the edge, no doubt. Wonderful series of photos and beautiful birds, Stewart.

Small City Scenes said...

Yes you wonder why the chicks don't just roll off. MB

Indrani said...

Incredible sights!
I have never seen so many nesting together.

Chris Rohrer said...

Most excellent rock face with a great bird! How do you get such wonderful pics of these incredibly hard birds??!!! Nice work!

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures, Stewart,
So many birds nest on the rock together.
Cute young birds.
Best regards, Irma

Breathtaking said...

Sweet looking gull the Kittiwake, and great pictures ot them Stewart.The cliff face looks like a precarious place for them to raise their young, it's just amazing how they do it.

Pete Shanley said...

Brilliant post Stewart. Amazing bird, amazing behaviours, amazing pictures! Thank-you for sharing.

LadyD Piano said...

Love the sound of their name!!

pattisjarrett said...

Awwww, how cute! Love the shots of their nesting area--and the Puffin! Thanks, Stewart!

Felicia said...

they are beautiful birds, sort of look like our sea gulls.

love the photo bomb image.

Lady Lilith said...

Neat. What a great find.

DeniseinVA said...

Great photos Stewart, loved seeing these nesting birds.

A Quiet Corner said...

That little Puffin snuck right in there, Stewart! How wonderful these pix are!!!...:)JP

Sheila at WolfSongBlog.Com said...

Love, love these photos. Great header photo!!

CabinGirl said...

Ahhhh... seabirds. Wish I saw more of them. Your photos are wonderful. You seem to have captured a softness to their heads - just lovely, Stewart!

Mary Cromer said...

Great pics and of course my favorite is the one photo bombed by the Puffin...SWEET timing~

babsjeheron said...

Stewart, the textures you have captured in these photos are outstanding, and I adore this photo ofthe adults tending to their fuzzy chicks. Well done.

Pat Tillett said...

Gorgeous photos Stewart!
I don't know how you got those great shots, but they are fantastic...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful -- you definitely don't need to go to Alaska.... same birds again.