Several Chough family groups from around the reserve have been seen along the cliff edges having fledged the nests recently. It seems that our Mousetrap pair have only managed to rear one juvenile successfully this year. Despite having 4 healthy chicks in the nest , only one has been observed with the parents over the last few days. Other families have been more successful and we have seen one family with 2 juveniles and one with 3. The young birds have been witnessed begging for food from the parents on the coastal path along by Ellins tower, which is an amazing sight. The mousetrap pair have brought their youngster to feed on the field opposite the visitor centre, encouraging it to feed for itself. It wont be long now before the young birds leave their parents and start to fly round in groups. All the birds are doing well to cope with the unseasonal weather and strong winds that we have been experiencing lately. All around the heathland there are families of smaller birds too. Its lovely to see young stonechats with their feathers all fluffed out!
The seabird colony is at the height of the breeding season now. Many of the guillemots and razorbills have one chick which they are jealously guarding from predators. The parents take it in turns to stay with the chick keeping it safely hidden under their wing, while the other goes off to find sandeels. There is constant activity on the cliff face and on the water as the parents fly off to bring in food supplies. Our razorbill family on the webcam are doing very well. The chick is 17 days old and is growing fast. It has black and white feathers now and has almost lost all of its downy chick fluff! We are expecting the chick to leave the ledge and go into the water during the next few days. The male bird will then stay with the chick and feed it on the water over the next six weeks.
The puffins are nesting on the ledges and burrows on the other side of the main cliff and can be seen most days. Yesterday we were surprised to see two or three puffins on the grassy area near the top of the main cliff, where we could see them clearly from Ellins tower. This is the first time we have been able to see them from the tower, much to everyone's delight! Hopefully they will continue to do this ! So if you want to see a puffin, now is a good time!
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