Marine Drive, Scarborough, 11.50 a.m.; Thirty kittiwakes set off towards the sea from the Castle cliff, then we see what set them up; a peregrine flies along at mid-ledge level then arcs out above our heads, loops over the sea and returns to the cliff. I’m ready to watch it hunt but it soon settles on a commanding knoll on the cliff-face, which could be a potential nest-site.
Through the little monocular that I keep in my art bag, I can see that it’s a slate grey male. It sits there, facing the cliff with its back to us, calling for ten minutes; a plaintive mewing. Is it hoping to attract a mate or complaining that the restless kittiwakes are hard to surprise this morning?
A kittiwake chases a fulmar, constantly gaining height then swooping on it. Resembling a miniature albatross, the fulmar might win the prizes when it comes to effortless
gliding but the kittiwake is more aerobatic.
Turnstones peck for scraps around your feet on the quayside, behaviour that seems surprising for a wader.
11.50 a.m.; a juvenile herring gull has a yellow plastic ring no. 5B6B on its left leg and on its right a metal BTO ring. It’s one of a group of juvenile gulls attracted to food offered by visitors to the park. In the town, gulls swooping to pinch sandwiches and chips from tourists are seen as a nuisance by some locals.