Wildlife sightings 28 January 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Claudia

Exiting news from the fish tank! Our little catshark is ready to hatch! It is wriggling its head from side to side to get out and starts to be very, very active. I’ll try to take as many photos as I can!

We are starting to see more shags on Craigleith. It’s great to see the camera up and running again but we can also see a lot of tree mallow. Lots of work for SOS Puffin! Please feel free to enlist to help out.

Fidra is still spoiling us with wonderful sights of fulmars. So lovely to see how the pairs groom each other. And in Dunbar we spotted a big group of eiders.

On Bass Rock we’re eagerly looking out for gannets. Even though we only have one camera running we hope to install more as soon as they come back from their winter maintenance. Gannets have been spotted apparently in North East Scotland, so keep your eyes peeled!

Wildlife sightings 21 January 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Lee

Fidra has been in the spotlight this week with both a male peregrine and the female juvenile peregrine sighted daily. Both peregrines are usually sighted near the Fidra cliff step ledges and despite resting relatively close to each other, they lack the aggression usually seen between competition. Plenty of fulmars are now situated around Fidra as well as Craigleith with plenty of nesting sites being claimed.

Craigleith is also a hive of activity as a handful of grey seals have been sighted along with a seal pup. Along with the grey seals, there are groups of greylag geese, which are now being sighted on a regular basis.

Wildlife sightings 14 January 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

Despite it being January and the recent forecast of snow, the weather has been kind to the Discovery Centre lately by granting us long periods of sunshine. This has allowed us to reclaim the cameras on Bass Rock and Craigleith, albeit until the sun fades. Bass Rock is still very quiet, though it won’t be too long until the gannets return to prepare their nests. Craigleith also prepares for the return of the cormorants but, on Wednesday, we were able to spot a moulted seal pup resting amongst the rocky shoreline. There have been several occasions this week when pairs of fulmars have been resting on the usual peregrine spots on Fidra, much to the dismay of the male peregrine and his daughter. Fulmars on Fidra have been increasing in number as well as distribution, now taking up shelter and resting on once-empty cliffs.

However, with the poor weather we saw a lot of injured seabirds brought in to the Centre as well as general enquiries about injured wildlife. Recently there has been an increase in the number of auks being brought in, with guillemots being the main species that we have had at the Centre. There have also been many reports of little auks being washed up or found injured and exhausted in areas of Musselburgh and Aberlady. A lot of these cases have been as a result of the winter storms with birds being exhausted and hungry, unable to dive and feed in the strong swells and currents. Well done to all staff who have handled these cases and enquiries.

Wildlife sightings 7 January 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Claudia

So far this year we have seen fulmars, peregrines and even some greylag geese.

The stormy weather brought a lot of sea foam to the beach and we had some spectacular high waves crushing onto the harbour wall. We do expect some injured and dead birds this time of year and on Monday we had an injured guillemot brought to the Centre. Unfortunately we had also a dead kestrel brought in by Helen. It has been reported and will be picked up by the rangers of the SOC. We do brace ourselves, however, for a wreck of shags and possibly there are even some little auks to be found. As usual, any injured bird we will report to the SSPCA and we keep them to be picked up. It is also important to note any rings/Darvics.