Wildlife sightings 18 September 2015

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Liz

After a slightly wild weekend we now have beautiful weather and the birds are certainly appreciating it with lots of shags drying off in the sunshine around Fidra and many a guga taking their first leap from the Bass Rock. The youngsters have been making good use of the ramps that were put up for them beside the lighthouse and we’ve spotted several jumping from the cliffs on camera this week. This should continue for a few more weeks to come as there are still quite a few fluffy chicks in nests across the Rock.

The tidal tank has some new residents this week with the addition of barnacles, two hermit crabs and a common prawn. The prawn in particular has settled in well and is very active, exploring and feeding. We hope to find some company for it before too long.

The peregrines have been posing on Fidra and Craigleith most mornings and left behind two pellets on Fidra cliff yesterday. Our other regulars this week have been the two grey seals off Isle of May beach. They were joined by a third on Tuesday. The anticipation is building for pupping season!

Sightings from Maggie

Isle of May – The first seal up has been born 3 days earlier than last year!! https://isleofmaynnr.wordpress.com/ The east winds have also brought some exciting migrants in, not least a juvenile red-footed falcon, only the third record for the island. As one season ends another brings excitement!

Bass Rock – The final day for the researchers from Glasgow University was a great success with over 90 birds ringed (half adults, half fledglings). Bob Furness noted that by ringing fledglings now, there was less disturbance than earlier in the season, and they are very keen for this to continue next year. This really is exciting as it’s the first year fledglings have been ringed for many years on the Bass. With this, and the tagging of immatures by Jana (which has brought very interesting results along with the loggers of breeding adults by Keith Hamer’s team /Jude and James), it has been an excellent year for research and we look forward to reading the updates when they’ve had time to download and process all the results. Jana has added a link into Jude’s blog https://gannetresearch.wordpress.com/
With similar studies happening around other gannetries, we are learning so much.

The Lamb – The puffin count has given surprising results with a count of 619 AOB (apparently occupied burrows).
Thanks to Gordon, Fisher Lassie, for reporting an unidentified whale a little off the Leithies last week. With reports of a humpback at the May, it’s worth spending time on the viewing deck.

Geese are on the move! That familiar call will soon fill the air. The seasons are changing


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