Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Tormisdale Cliffs

This is a series of shots taken over at the cliffs just south of Tormisdale a couple of years back when I visited with my friends Al and Jill who live on Arran.  These cliffs have the best seabird colonies on the Rhinns - although they are not large by seabird standards probably because the local geology does not provide enough suitable ledges.

This is taken peering over the edge of the cliff.  You can see a Kittiwake flying by down below while a Guillemot and Razorbill look up to see who has arrived...

The seabirds nest side by side - with the Kittiwakes building nests and the auks laying onto the bare rock.  There is a significant build up of guano through the season...

If you crawl up to the edge and peer over with a long lens it is possible to get some close up portraits of the birds - which are not at all bothered by having their pictures taken

Here you can see the classic pointed shape of the Guillemot egg - the Darwinian explanation of the shape being that it is less likely to roll off the edge....

Razorbill eggs are not so pointed - but they tend to nest in nooks rather than on the open ledge.  In either case, it is necessary to hatch chicks that have a developed sense of spacial awareness - otherwise they would fall off!!
 Carl

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