Wildlife sightings 11 January 2013

Sightings from Maggie

On the balmy evening of Hogmanay, the resounding song of the robin from the treetop was uplifting. The sunrise on New Year’s morning, a sign of the lengthening days bringing anticipation of the season ahead.

Fulmars are gliding along the cliffs, guillemots seen on the stacks early morning, the evocative call of the eider, some displaying in the large rafts offshore. Shags with crests and cormorants with their white thigh patch already showing. But when will the first gannet be spotted? Look on camera toward the North of the island or spend time on the viewing deck. It won’t be long!

Mortality: A recent report from CEH and Aberdeen University about shag mortality along the east coast most likely caused by the recent heavy storms. A photograph of many dead shags with coloured Darvick rings was a very sad sight. Many of the birds are Isle of May birds.

We can help. If you find any dead shags with coloured Darvick rings or even metal rings this identifies where the bird is from. Please do let us/me know. I know it is difficult if we are busy but even a phone number and I will call them back. It is so important to have the location. Last week a young boy took the time to report a colour ringed bird. He had given the Darvick number which has been passed on, but the location was ‘the beach’ I was unable to find it, but just as important I was unable to let him know the significance of his find.

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