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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

Fulmars - Observation 14 (02/05/2021)

Updated: May 16, 2021

11.50-12.30 & 15.00-16.100

Weather: Temp: 17 C; wind 8 mph N. Some sun, partial cloud cover

I walked from Ovingdean (café) to Rottingdean first, and later in the afternoon from Rottingdean to Saltdean and saw many Fulmars in nesting holes/crevasses in the cliffs; , around 40-50 Fulmars (mostly in pairs). Some pairs were undertaking pair-bonding beahviour and some were mating: female birds perched in crevices of cliff, beak facing in; and male birds landed on female birds; backs, and with some wing flapping to stabilize their position, and they got on with mating.

As incubation is 50 days, we can expect to see chicks around 11th June; then it takes ca. 50 days to fledge; so they'll be off to resume their life at sea around the end of July, until they return to Ovingdean to Saltdean next year. They are monogamous, return to the same nesting site and live for up to 40 years (and start breeding at around 9 years old) , so some of them having doing this every year since May 1991

What's amazing is how habituated to the increased number of people the Fulmars are. I was standing still photographing and a Fulmar flew about 30cm above my head to reach the cliff.

The photos below are not all of different birds

Total Fulmars seen: ca 40-50



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