Wildlife sightings 10 August 2012

Wildlife on the cameras – Bailee

Bass Rock: The gannet chicks are about 10-12 weeks old now and some are looking quite brown and speckly. Our first born, Baldred (near the chapel), has almost all of his flight feathers! It seems like only yesterday we were competing for the first gannet sighting and already the season is coming to an end. The peregrine falcons have been spotted occasionally sitting on the Bass lighthouse.

Fidra and Craigleith: The puffins have finally disappeared from the islands, though a few visitors have reported sightings on boat trips. Big grey herring gull chicks are everywhere and there are many juvenile cormorants and shags still hanging about in small groups. If you haven’t seen the late shag nest on Craigleith cliff, see if you can find it behind the returning tree mallow. The chicks are getting big but still in the nest. Fulmar chicks are also about and big enough to start poking their heads out of their nest hollows. Fidra is a good place to see them and there is a nice view of a fulmar nest within the cormorant colony on Craigleith cliff.

Telescope Deck: Oystercatchers and eider ducks can still be seen around the harbour, especially at low tide. If you stand outside for a few minutes you are also likely to hear some terns fishing in the shallows around the harbour and the beach. They fly quickly but you might even be able to catch a glimpse of them in the scopes.

Seafari, a quick update – Maggie

Although no longer being seen on land, we have been having daily sightings of puffins on the sea and passengers were delighted to see one flying overhead, fish hanging from the bill, evidence the odd puffling is still down a burrow. On the May it has been a similar story where patience pays, if one just sits and watches.

Yesterday a raft of about a dozen or so guillemots with young, were spotted and a lone guillemot, with chick is still on the Bass, only visible from the boat. The first gugas should be spotted over the next few days as several are now down-free. Another sighting of porpoise from the boat the other day.

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