Dundee Birds - Set 2

11 May to 6 July 2018


SET 2 (Slessor Gardens)

In Dundee and the surrounding districts we are fortunate in sharing our habitat with a diverse population of birds. Different species are drawn to distinctive contexts, small skittish birds live fast dynamic lives in our gardens and parks where they have found unique feeding opportunities.The Dighty Burn and the River Tay attract waders, dippers and shore birds, whilst the mouth of the estuary often hosts unexpected visitors, as well as birds that live far out at sea and only make an inland appearance during the summer months to breed.A world-class experience can be had by a visit to Fowlsheugh, further up the coast: like a sort of Tokyo for birds. Here 130,000 seabirds converge between March and August to breed and rear their young on the precarious ledges and niches afforded by the sites unique exposed geology. Wildly differing species coexist on the cliffs, displaying exuberant, highly evolved and economic lifestyles. A cacophony of guttural accents can be heard and territorial squabbles, coquettish preening, stoic incubation, frenzied feeding and beguiling parenting techniques observed.The eggs depicted here represent a small selection of birds that can be seen locally if attention and patience are practiced. It should be noted however that they are not portrayed in scale or proportion to each other. The eggs themselves are from the archives of the Natural History Unit at Perth Museum.Taking eggs from live nests was rightly made illegal in 1954, but not until custodial sentences were imposed in 2001 did the practice significantly decrease.

As a result, many of the eggs photographed here are significantly old, some taken before the First World War, others during it.- Tentsmuir, June1911- Blair Atholl, May 1914- Forthingham, March 1917- Liff, June 1927- Barry, July 1931- Balmossie, May 1947The young birds that might have been are long since, yet today these eggs still stand as a powerful totem for our fragile future.For information on the artists, visit www.dalzielscullion.com