This week’s Sightings – Maggie Sheddan – w/e 26 July 2013

Bass Rock

The piercing black eye bright, alert. The black bill, the peering posturing as the down covered chicks, now very visible, watch as we sail past. Only now are we really spotting them from the boat. We are only midway in the season for the gannets.

From the boat, we heard the piercing call. A lone guillemot with chick on a tiny ledge brings excitement. The east cave has several still to fledge but, as with many of the cliffs on all the islands, their season is virtually over.

May Isle

Picnic with the puffins!! This last two weeks the May has been incredible. On one of our walks along Holymans road or “the puffin road” every few metres, the soft growling of puffins could be heard bringing smiles to our group. We reach the main area where it’s 360 degrees puffin watching. Pufflings are now making their way to the sea but some are found in the undergrowth and held until dusk before release. We have been seeing a few on the sea… So now we have not only ‘Puffin!’ but also ‘Puffling!’ being shouted from the boat.

The shags feeding are a joy to watch as its three hungry young overwhelm the parent. I watched one feeding the pushiest chick only to see the adult hop out of reach of the other two…

The tern chicks are fledging. The recent dry spell really aided the colony this year. I’ve spotted a couple of razorbill chicks, there is always something to enjoy and watch!

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