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:

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  3. 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! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. 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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kittiwakes certainly do build their nests in precarious places!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The fluffy chicks against the rock face are great shots!

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

    ReplyDelete
  9. 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

    ReplyDelete
  10. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love the little, fluffy baby!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Looks like a fascinating place for birding.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  20. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  26. 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.

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

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

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

    love the photo bomb image.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great photos Stewart, loved seeing these nesting birds.

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

    ReplyDelete
  32. Love, love these photos. Great header photo!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. 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!

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

    ReplyDelete
  35. 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.

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

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

    ReplyDelete