Wildlife sightings 15 March 2013

Sightings by Maggie

Bass: Alive with gannets, bowing, bill fencing, sky pointing, jabbing and nest building, an unfolding story in front of our eyes. Now is the first chapter of the season. With the first boat trips sailing this weekend it will be wonderful to see what birds have returned to the lower promontory and the stack by the cave. Will the harbour seals greet us, curious of the large orange boat filled with its ‘yellow and blue’ waterproofed passengers. What is for sure will be that very distinctive Bass aroma!

Craigleith: Wonderful to see the cormorants’ wing flicking head tossing displaying, attracting the female’s attention, their plumage so fresh, the obvious white thigh patch. Although not settled, they are returning to sites. Watch them pairing and adopt a site to watch for the season. Any sign of the Greylag? Leeches pond on the top of the island has been filled this winter and there is always evidence of the geese around. Often they are seen flying between the islands.

Dunbar: The kittiwakes are back! Thanks to Gordon who called yesterday to let us know they were at their sites on the castle with several dozen on the surrounding seas. At first just one but by late afternoon there were over a dozen, alone, but sitting at their nests, and that’s only on the area we see.

Isle of May: Guillemots coming and going, but when will the first puffins be seen? Also great shots of the peregrine sitting on cliff ledge to the right of the stacks. It was there for several hours. Keep a watch for seals hauled out. Check them out in case the one that was injured with the netting returns. It would be good to see if it has healed?

Fidra: Fulmars rule! As a pair sat calmly on the peregrine’s viewing point, the peregrine perches lower down and slightly to the right of the ledge. Fulmar oil is no fun for any bird. There appears to be an understanding on that!

Bass Rock: For twitter followers, Gavin from the DC has a regular slot on Sundays showing a ‘Time Line’ of the Bass gannets. Each week he will photograph the same spot so we can see the changes in the colony as the season progress.

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