• Sim Elliott

Fulmars - Observation 11 (05/03/2021)

Updated: Aug 28, 2021


Weather: Temp: 6 C; wind 8 mph NE. Cloudy

Thus was my first observation for just over a month as the undercliff path was closed for nearly three weeks due to chalk falls as a result of cliff damage. This observation was made between Rottingdean to Saltdean. Previous observations were made between Ovingdean and Rottingdean; I do not know of there were Fulmars here from the beginning of my observations (12/01/21), as I didn't observe this section of the cliff until now. I realised that I had made a rookie amateur ornithologist's error; if you are going to observe a colony systematically, establish the geographical extent of the colony before you start! But we learn through our mistakes!

There were approximately 16 Fulmars this afternoon. Some were perched in groups (between 2 and 6 birds) on four locations, I think, on the cliffs between Rottingdean and Saltdean.

When I have observed the Fulmars before I had noted that they do lots of short circular flights out to sea (ca. 100-400m) and then come back to their cliff site without landing. Watching them today more carefully today it appeared that they do this as frequently something (their speed, angle of approach, wind conditions etc.) has made it impossible to them to land so they abort the landing at the last minute and try again.

The following photos are presented in chronological order. These are not all different birds; there are many pictures of the same birds.