Wildlife sightings 10 April 2014

Sightings from Maggie

From the boats: A fleeting sighting of a porpoise last week, thousands of gannets but few auks and ‘the guide‘ on day 1 of the season (apologies to all the knowledgeable volunteers and staff on board the first trip, I improved by the second trip) It was just wonderful to be out there.

The excitement ripples around the boat as I call ‘puffin’, and point to the lone puffin on the sea. Seals bring the same excitement, with a few being spotted on Craigleith and several heads popping up at the Bass cave alerted to our presence by the hum and vibration of the engine. Gannets carrying …. ‘a fish!!’. No, seaweed for nesting, and you let passengers know of the weird and wonderful objects found in gannets nests and explain the importance of the territory and the constant nest building right up to even the last day of the gannet season. There is always an air of excitement and enthusiasm on the boat generated in part by all the wonderful and very varied questions and interaction we have with our passengers. The boat season has begun!

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Claudia

We had a mixed week. Shag Blue ZCA laid an egg on Saturday and we got all excited about it but unfortunately we found the egg has been broken on Wednesday… The shag colony on the Isle of May starts now to be busy as the three nests on the cliff near the camera are all occupied. As we have now several ringed shags on camera and ‘Blue ZCA’ does not sound very nice, we are now looking to give the birds names.

On Fidra the fulmars are still looking good and we spotted some greylag geese too. Craigleith has a lot of gulls hanging around but we are spotting the puffins now more often. Still, they are not settled yet and are off at tea time. But on the happy side we were able to spot some shelducks and eiderducks on the island.

Bass Rock is looking very good and there are more birds every day. The nests start to look substantial. And, as we can see the gannets carefully choosing where to lay their next bit of stone or seaweed, we can say that the nests are a labour of love. John Hunt spotted a ringed gannet on Wednesday and we are eager to get more information on it. We will keep you posted!

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