Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex
We had our first gannet chick on camera last Friday, spotted by Scott, and help from Maggie as she spotted a few chicks by the chapel on her landing trips. Probably coming up to two weeks old as it already has quite a lot of white fluffy down. At the moment it is still our only gannet chick on camera though the search for the second is now on. Still a lot of mating behaviour and courtship on the camera with the latecomers preparing their nest for eggs.
It has not all been good news on the cameras, however, with one shag pair on the Isle of May (white NDJ) losing their egg on Monday. It was seen on a lower ledge below the nest. This is a reasonably new pair spotted on our cameras, with help from the Darvick rings supporting this. Unfortunately a lot of younger parents will lose their first eggs from inexperience and not building an adequate nest. The chicks to the left of this nest, however, are doing really well and are even beginning to stand and leave the nest – only for the mother/father to encourage them back to feed. Ringers have been out on the islands in the past week so we may start seeing some of the chicks with rings, too. Please keep an eye for any ringed shags, adult or chick on the cameras and please record in our sightings book or yellow folder. This information is important to the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) which tracks these ringed shags in order to find out where they winter. It is also interesting to our visitors and members.
Guillemots and razorbills still have their eggs, as do the kittiwakes at Dunbar with no sign just yet of their first respective chicks. The peregrines are still being spotted occasionally on Fidra and Bass but not as frequently as they were during the winter months. This is largely due to smaller seabirds nesting on the cliffs taking up the feeding posts of the Fidra pair and daughter. We are seeing high numbers of grey seals on the May and Craigleith, at least high for this time of year. On Sunday we spotted eight grey seals on the Craig of various sizes so some young seals included.