Wildlife sightings 23 June 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

Our different chicks on the camera are all doing really well. The first gannet chick is now sitting slightly out of the nest and soon we will see it moult all of that white down and develop juvenile plumage. We are now seeing new gannet chicks emerge nearly every day and soon our Bass Rock cameras will be full of adults and gugas. Guillemot chicks on Fidra are doing well and we also had our first razorbill chick hatch last Thursday. Sadly the chick is no longer on the cliff that it was resting on with its parents and we are unsure as to what has happened to it. Kittiwake chicks are also present on our Dunbar Harbour camera which is great to see after not having this camera working last year.

The shag and cormorant chicks on Isle of May and Craigleith are both doing well at their respective nests though there was some unusual behaviour on the main May nest that we have been watching this season. A shag with a red ring (AFU) began pushing out the young shags out of their nest and began rearranging the nest almost as if it was preparing it to lay eggs. There was no sign of either adult (Charlie ‘ZCA’ or Lola ‘BAU’) during this behaviour though later on when we checked on the nest the parents had returned and the chicks were safely back on the nest. All three chicks have been ringed and Scott has done a good job of spotting their letters and has added them to our ongoing Darvick ring records.

Herring gulls have been breeding heavily on Craigleith this season and their nests are quite noticeable amongst the growing vegetation in the glen area of the island. One pair ‘Islay and Jura’ have been sitting on a nest and this week a chick was spotted though Sarah believes it is approx. 3-4 weeks going off its plumage. Puffins are doing well on Craigleith also and don’t seem to be too bothered about these curious gull chicks looking down into their burrows. This will inevitably change however when the chicks become a lot older and start looking for pufflings. No sign of puffins with sandeels yet indicating the first chicks but fingers crossed we will catch this on our cameras soon.

Bass Rock June 2016

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