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.

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