Wildlife sightings 8 July 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Sarah

The Bass Rock has filled-up even more with chicks – we now have a range of ages on camera from our oldest chick, hatched around the 1 June by the chapel, to our youngest, with their feather tips just beginning to grow. We’ll see the Bass turn even more white in the coming weeks as the oldest chicks begin to moult and grow in their juvenile feathers.

We’ve been lucky this week with sightings of both male and female peregrine falcons on Fidra, and on Tuesday we had a peregrine on the Bass Rock lighthouse with a kill. Our Fidra falcons have been very dependable, sitting still all day most days on the middle cliff ledge.

Gigha, the chick of our Craigleith herring gulls Islay and Jura, has been very active this week, running about the area of the nest site. The nest has disappeared behind the huge bush of Tree Mallow that now covers it! In another week Gigha should be ready to fledge.

Many of the kittiwake chicks in Dunbar are now beginning to develop the distinctive dark “W” shape appearing on the leading edge of their wings, and they’ll be ready to fledge in another few weeks.

The only seabird still sitting on eggs is the fulmar – we’ve got our eyes peeled for any signs of hatchlings! We have an unusual pair of fulmars right underneath the Craigleith South camera who look like they’re only just making a nest scrape now. They are very clearly a pair, but whether they start trying to breed this late in the season will be very interesting.

Many of the seabirds in the Forth are now fitted with Darvic and ornithological rings – including kittiwakes, lesser black-backed gulls, puffins and shags. Keep your eyes out for juvenile seabirds with colourful rings around their legs and let us know in the Discovery Centre! This will help track where they are going and help with conservation work.

Check out the Seabird camera action at home by clicking HERE. 

Fidra July 2016

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