Wildlife sightings 26 May 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

We expect our first gannet chick in the coming days, with 29 May being the date of the first chick last year. Very strong winds today on the Bass so any chicks that have hatched will be firmly sheltering underneath their parents. The young female peregrine has also been spotted on the lighthouse recently and is offering a different sight for visitors during our gannet talks.

Scott spotted our first kittiwake egg at Dunbar harbour during the week, which is great as we didn’t have the Dunbar camera last year and I know that a lot of our members and volunteers missed seeing the chicks.

For puffins, some burrowing activity is still going on with latecomers ensuring their nests and burrows are ready to protect their eggs and subsequent chicks. We have also had some activity on our burrow camera with adult puffins coming and going, with an egg on its way hopefully.

300516 la puffins craigleith



Wildlife sightings 19 June 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

Eggs and chicks are all over the cameras just now with gannets, guillemots, razorbills, cormorants and shags all having eggs on the nest, with the latter now with chicks. It will still be a few weeks until the first gannet chick is spotted on the Bass Rock. We won’t know about ‘pufflings’ until we see the iconic image of a puffin holding sandeels, the typical sign that chicks have hatched and are awaiting food. Puffin numbers are now pretty healthy on the cameras, just in time for Puffin Fest so the first puffin talks will have live birds on camera!

During the past week we have seen a few grey seals on the beach on the Isle of May as well as the rocky shore of Craigleith. Some of these individuals were adults but there were also a few younger grey seals.

Wildlife sightings 12 May 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

The new chicks are two shag chicks on the Isle of May from parents ‘Charlie’ and ‘Lola’, with the first chick hatching on Monday, spotted by Scott. This is great news as Charlie wasn’t very successful last year but now he has two chicks, with one more on the way too.

Cormorant chicks have also been spotted at the Craigleith colony. Puffins are becoming more established on Craigleith with a lot of burrow preparation activity and behaviour. We have also spotted movement in our burrow camera over the past few days and fingers crossed for a third year of a successful ‘puffling’. Gannet eggs are becoming more and more obvious on the nests at the Bass and we also had our first guillemot eggs on Fidra North camera near the old tram railings.

120516 la craigleith

Wildlife sightings 5 May 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

Gannet nests begin to fill with eggs and, although we have spotted some that have been abandoned, the majority are under careful protection from their parents. A female juvenile peregrine falcon has also been spotted once again on the lighthouse railings this past week. She was spotted once before on the cameras a few weeks ago, as well as by myself during some maintenance work almost two months ago. Great to see another juvenile return and hopefully mature on our cameras.

Puffins are becoming more settled on the islands with the Craigleith ledge below the camera filling up nicely, despite the changing weather conditions. Puffin talks will follow soon: still no activity on our burrow camera.

Our fish tanks are doing well, with work still ongoing in converting our tidal tank to our shark tank. Spaghetti the catshark doesn’t seem to be in a rush however and is quite happy in the main tank at the moment.

050516 bass rock