Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex
Numbers of auks are beginning to thin out with guillemots and razorbill numbers decreasing most, especially on the stacks at Isle of May as well as the cliffs on Fidra and Craigleith. Puffin numbers are still reasonably high on Fidra and Craigleith, however, which is very helpful as we continue to deliver puffin talks. The adult puffins continue to be spotted in our burrow camera but very few sightings of the puffling. The burrow will be watched closely in the coming weeks to spot the puffling before it heads off on its first flight.
The gugas on the Bass Rock continue to develop well and a few have been spotted moulting and beginning to show their speckled juvenile plumage. It will still be several weeks until we see a fully moulted guga and the first begin to fledge from their nest and make their way down to the water. It will be interesting to see how many of these fledglings will end up stuck in the lighthouse courtyard this year, and need to be rescued via our makeshift ‘runways’.
The peregrine continues to be sighted on the lighthouse as well as on adjacent cliffs with both the male and female making regular appearances.
The peregrine juvenile has been less frequent but when it has been sighted it is clear to see that she will only be a juvenile for another few weeks. Her plumage has darkened and the underparts are now completely horizontal.
The shag and cormorant juveniles are now doing their own thing and many can be found at the water’s edge on Craigleith as well as on Fidra. Several cormorant juveniles are still around the nest area on Craigleith but have separated themselves from the adults