SEAFORD: Rise in Kittiwake levels, survey finds

KITTIWAKE numbers are on the increase in Seaford, according to an RPSB survey.

Staff from the wildlife charity spent two hours last week scanning the cliffs for nests and found more than a thousand of them, an increase on the 800 that were counted last year.

Kate Whitton, of the RSPB South East, said, “It’s great to know we’ll be launching the project on such a good note.

“The kittiwakes’ numbers sometimes fluctuate quite drastically, and it’s worrying when we see a sharp drop, because they aren’t doing well in the UK overall.

“They’re suffering from a lack of food, probably caused by climate change and overfishing.

“Although it’s relatively small, the colony at Seaford is becoming increasingly significant as kittiwakes struggle to breed in other sites along the coast of northern England, Scotland and Wales.”

The wildlife charity’s Date with Nature project has started and is based at Splash Point on the seafront every day from 10am to 4.30 pm until August 7.

Staff and volunteers will be present to answer questions and help visitors to view the birds using optical equipment such as binoculars and spotting-scopes.

There is no entry charge and use of the equipment is free.

The RSPB is asking people across Sussex to help protect kittiwakes and other declining seabirds by signing a pledge calling on the government to safeguard our seabirds. The pledge can be read and signed at www.rspb.org.uk/steppingup/campaign.