Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Fran
The first guillemot chicks were recorded on Fidra North camera last Friday (5 June) and there are at least three now. These downy miniature versions of the adults only stay on land for about three weeks, before the father takes them off to continue feeding them at sea.
Also on Fidra, we had gory close-up scenes of a peregrine eating an adult puffin last Friday morning!
Puffin chicks have hatched! Today (11 June) an adult was seen on the Fidra camera with a really big beak full of sand eels, but seemed to be having trouble taking them to the burrow as there were two gulls standing menacingly in the way. Yesterday, one or two were seen parading around the Craigleith clubbing area with a fish, but appeared to be just showing it off rather than taking it anywhere. We have seen adult puffins on the live burrow-cam again, and although it would seem late to start nesting, this burrow started late last year and successfully reared a puffling. It may well be the same pair but we don’t know that for certain.
There are lots of gannet chicks now. Our oldest chick doesn’t even need brooding today as the weather is so warm: the adult has been standing aside as the chick lies sprawled out in the sun, and we have had to reassure some visitors that it isn’t dead!
Great Black-backed gull chicks have been spotted on Craigleith – beautifully spotty and camouflaged, and on the move very quickly, though still tended by their parents.
Not on camera, but right here at the Centre, we have a swallow’s nest near the back door to the staffroom, on a pipe under the decking bridge. I can’t see what is in it but the adults are quite often sitting on the railings nearby.