Wildlife sightings 14 March 2014

Sightings from Maggie

Isle of May: I sat for a while at Lady’s Bed, only the sound of chuckling fulmars and the cry of the gulls filling the air. Strings of gannets flew purposefully toward the Bass. A few guillemots and razorbills were spotted on the journey out but the cliffs and ledges were desolate. Kittiwake nests in need of repair after winter storms. Lost in my thoughts of the season ahead, the call of a lone lapwing caught my attention as it flew across the island.

I enjoyed a quick run around the island, stopping to chat with the ‘low lighters’ who resembled more of a chain gang as they pounded away at the solid rocks creating a new pathway and landscaping around the observatory. Down by Kirkhaven the new visitor centre is taking shape. Hopefully completed for early season and certainly looks interesting, Dave and Caroline checking the progress of the new centre, Andy and Pete checking cameras for the season ahead and I was just enjoying not being a part of this pre-season hub. I was watching the shags and eiders displaying, a couple of teal in the harbour, I did spot a rabbit which is good news, but no puffins, despite this beautiful day.

As we sailed past Rona on our journey back, despite the rising tide, several hundred seals were still hauled out.

Just a few days later a txt from Mark: the first puffins had been spotted! The following day a call from Gordon – they had been seen off Craigleith, and later that day I heard there had been several hundred sitting below the cliffs of the May. They will still come and go so watch out for that first one on land! Unfortunately this beautiful spring like weather is due to turn and strong winds are forecast for next week, but the season is knocking at the door.

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