Wildlife sightings 16 July

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

Pufflings continue to be spotted on Fidra cliffs this week and we have also had sightings of our own little puffling on our burrow camera. Saying that, it doesn’t look that little given its appearance so it may have just been hidden away at the back of the burrow or next to the other entrance that the parents created at the start of the season. Something we may have to look at for next year, given that the adults have used the burrow again for a successive year and likely to use in continuing years. The adults have been spotted bringing food to the chick, which is great to see.

The gugas continue to develop well and many are now at the six-week stage, although all continue to retain their white fluffy down. In the coming weeks we will see them moult this down and develop their dark speckled juvenile plumage. Many of the gugas are also moving freely, though not too far from the nest with their parents not too far behind to call them back.

Guillemot and razorbill numbers are dwindling with many having headed out to sea with their offspring already, and soon the puffins will also be gone. Fulmars continue to rest on ledges and cliffs and we await the first sighting of chicks.

Cormorants and shag chicks have now developed into adolescents, with the former showing bright white plumage on their chests and around their neck.

The peregrine continues to be spotted on the Bass Rock, primarily the male, on ledges opposite the lighthouse. The juvenile female is scarce on Fidra at present, though when she has appeared it is clear to see her transition from juvenile to adult, with many of the lighter feathers now moulting to reveal darker plumage. She continues to present white markings on the back of her head, just as her father does, and hopefully this remains to allow easy identification when she becomes a full adult.

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