Wildlife sightings 15 June 2012

This week by Bailee.

Bass Rock – chicks everywhere! Some are looking like big fluffy snowballs at two to three weeks old, while some are still tiny and featherless. It takes some patience to find them but is worth the effort of looking. The oldest chick (that we know of) kindly hatched in an easy-to-find spot – in the nest to the bottom left corner of St. Baldred’s Chapel. Visitors often have trouble spotting the wee ones so Baldred is a good one to point out.

Dunbar Harbour – kittiwake chicks have hatched in all nests now and are growing quickly! Sadly, there are fewer than last week as the larger and stronger chicks have out-competed their siblings for food and space. A few young non-breeding kittiwakes have been spotted on the castle walls as well as the Isle of May. They can be identified by the black crescent stripes on their heads.

Fidra and Craigleith – guillemot and razorbill chicks can be seen now on the cliffs and rocky outcrops below. Again, they can be tricky to spot as they have the same colouring as their parents. Just look for the smaller ones. A bridled guillemot was spotted on Fidra Island this week on the cliffs near the old rail tracks.

Sparrowhawks – four chicks have hatched and can be seen clearly from the live cam!

Isle of May – the shags are doing very well with babies growing very big and playful. In the last couple of weeks I’ve watched quite a few tug-of-wars between chicks over sticks in the nest. They’re adorable to watch! Auks and kittiwakes are visible on the stacks and the odd seal lounging or swimming in the shallows.



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