Wildlife sightings 14 June 2018

Notes from the Discovery Centre – Alex


A week has gone by and we are still awaiting the first gannet chicks on our cameras. Plenty of eggs to see on the nests but, as of yet, no chicks. However, we have seen the first sightings of puffins bringing back fish on Fidra and Craigleith so we know that pufflings have arrived on those two islands respectively. Herring gull and black backed gull chicks are also visible on both of those islands so the chick season has indeed begun.

Shag chicks continue to do well with Lola and Baz supporting three chicks at the moment with a few other adjacent nests still with chicks to hatch. One of the later, and so far, unnamed pairs, have three eggs at the moment. So despite the slow start to the season following the horrific weather in February and March, things are starting to look up for our nesting seabirds.

One sad view this week was a kittiwake at Dunbar harbour that had gotten itself tangled up in fishing line and unfortunately has fallen victim to plastic nesting materials. Adjacent to this nest were expecting parents with at least two parents sitting on eggs at the moment.

To keep up-to-date with the webcam action, click HERE.


Wildlife sightings 7 June 2018

Notes from the Discovery Centre – Alex

We are still awaiting our first gannet chicks of the season but, with news that a chick was spotted by Maggie on a landing trip, it won’t be too long before we see chicks on our Bass Rock cameras. Also, news of the first puffling of the season on the Isle of May following the sighting of a puffin returning with sandeels in its bill. We hope to see the same behaviour on the cameras which will mark the arrival of the first Fidra and Craigleith pufflings respectively.

The cormorant chicks on Craigleith are doing well and we had the first gull chicks of the season too, with herring gull and black backed chicks being seen on both the beach and cliff cameras. One or two of the gull chicks have been seen investigating burrow entrances which is a behaviour we have been seeing more and more of on the cameras. Fingers crossed they don’t become too interested and decide to pay the breeding adult puffins a visit!

There have been several grey seals basking on the shores of Craigleith over the past few days, much to the interest to many visitors, both in the Discovery Centre and on the boat trips. They appear quite lean so will likely be young grey seals that were born last year.

To keep up-to-date with the webcam action, click HERE.

Wildlife sightings 31 May 2018

Notes from the Discovery Centre – Alex

We are noticing more and more gannet eggs on the Bass as the parents begin to get a little restless on the nests. Hopefully a sign that their chicks are on their way! We do have the cormorant chicks that can be seen via the Craigleith North camera and they are growing very quickly. There has also been a few female eiders spotted on Craigleith taking their ducklings down to the water to form a creche. There are a lot of other eggs to be seen on camera at the moment with guillemot, razorbill and shag eggs all relatively visible (despite the fog!) on their respective nests. The gulls seem to have taken hold of some areas on Fidra and Craigleith with nests popping up all around our cameras.

Puffins are becoming more settled on the islands at the moment and are staying visible throughout the day compared to how they were behaving a few weeks ago. We have also seen quite a lot of activity on the burrow camera with two puffins coming and going. We hope that this year we will see more of the egg/ puffling with a slightly altered view of the burrow this year, fingers crossed.

The first sighting of dolphins occurred last Friday from the scope deck and hopefully we have as good a year as last year in terms of sightings!

To keep up-to-date with the webcam action, click HERE.

Wildlife sightings 24 May 2018

Notes from the Discovery Centre – Connor, work experience pupil from Preston Lodge High School

Several egg sightings with the guillemot families on the Isle of May beach cam. Dolphins were also spotted out at the south of Craigleith making their way out towards the sea. Plenty of gannet eggs being spotted around the Bass Rock cams with an abundance of happy, healthy gannets.

Not many puffins being seen.

The peregrine falcon has returned several times today along with a couple of grey seals along at Craigleith again.

On the Isle of May the shags continue to give us drama; our shags Jay and Bay have been in their cave with three eggs. Two of Burton and Miss Selfridge’s three eggs had fallen to the side of the nest and eventually fell out.

To keep up-to-date with the webcam action, click HERE.

Wildlife sightings 17 May 2018

Notes from the Discovery Centre – Alex

Lots of eggs are appearing on the cameras at the moment. Currently there are gannet, guillemot, cormorant, gull, eider and shag eggs, throughout the different islands. We also have sightings of cormorant chicks on Craigleith. They aren’t too visible at the moment as they are still very young and small.

Puffins are still fluctuating in terms of numbers on the various islands with early morning being the best time to view them on the cameras.

The shags on the May are really picking up speed with a few new nests beginning to appear around the cliff camera. Helen, Erin and team are doing a great job of monitoring the different nests and naming and recording the different darvic rings.

To keep up-to-date with the webcam action, click HERE.

Wildlife sightings 10 May 2018

“A ringed shag on the Isle of May”

Notes from the Discovery Centre – Natasha

Like the previous week we have seen a selection of gulls on both Fidra and Craigleith, with eggs now on Fidra. The greylag goslings spotted last week have yet to be seen again, it’s possible that the gulls may have played a part. The number of gannet eggs on both Bass Rock cameras has increased, and we’re expecting this number to rise further over the week!

The Isle of May shag soap opera continues – Lola and Baz have added another egg to their nest, so we are keeping an eye out for any more in the coming days. We are also seeing some younger ringed birds returning to the isle with lots of interaction. On Friday a seal made an appearance, and unfortunately a dead gannet was also visible on the beach. In brighter news the blue skies have brought more puffins, razorbills and guillemots, with the peregrine often resting on a shaded cliffside spot.

To keep up-to-date with the webcam action, click HERE.

Wildlife sightings 3 May 2018

Notes from the Discovery Centre – Mal

This week we have had a new shag nest on Craigleith along with loads of guillemots. There is a cormorant nest with an egg! Also, on the island there have been shelducks along with the peregrine. Fidra has had cormorants and fulmars along with a selection of gulls.

Our big news though is that we are fairly certain we have our first, on camera, gannet egg on the Bass Rock. There are even more gannets that have settled and now there is not much space to see.

Finally, on the Isle of May there are multiple comings and goings on the shag nests, new partners a-plenty. It’s more like a soap opera than a nature watch. Along with razorbills and guillemots we are having more sightings of puffins. We have been told there is also a puffin egg on the Island so hopefully we will see a lot more activity in the coming days.

To keep up-to-date with the webcam action, click HERE.