The RSPB Fulmar page/ sand martins in Norfolk cliffs


I wanted to know when eggs are laid and some info about the fledglings. The RSPB  Fulmar page sadly is rather sparse on these topics. Although I see fulmars regularly on our North Norfolk cliffs, one can[t actually see any eggs or young. Any info would be appreciated.

Also: our local sand martin nesting cliff fell down late last summer whilst some martins were still about, leaving only about 30 or so viable nest entrances (there were more than three times as many before). A week ago I saw about 8 martins flying around the remaining cliff wall, entering some nest sites, and seemingly fighting over them -???-   I haven't seen them again. Is it likely they abandon the site, and would they actually fight each other for the sites?  I heard that nests disappearing 'isn't a big deal' as martins would happily dig new holes; however, I have never seen this, and it seems a heck of a job for a small bill like theirs to dig a tunnel entrance.

many thanks for any information on this!

  • I'm not great on seabirds but from what I can remember incubation is about 50 days and is shared between sexes and I think they spend several days on each spell of incubating. I once watched someone ringing youngsters near Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland and the chicks seemed pretty independent and ready for the off.
    Our local Sand Martin site was lost this past winter when the river changed course and about 60 old nests were lost but I can assure you the incoming birds this year have dug out new holes using beak and feet. Even on artifical nest sites they still prefer to dig the sand out themselves, pretty amazing. Hope this helps a bit


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  • There's plenty of information on Fulmars on the BTO website.

    Looks like your memory about the incubation period served you well, Pete.



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  • Thanks, I used to hang around with a group who did ringing of seabirds, I was often their belay man while they went down the cliff ang covered in all sorts of disgusting stuff.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can