Wildlife sightings 29 September 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

Dolphins – We have been very lucky this month to have had so many dolphin sightings, both from the Centre and the Scope Deck as well as on the boats. This past week was no different with a small pod of bottlenose dolphins spotted around the Bass Rock, heading west on Saturday.

Seal season is nearly upon us and more and more grey seals have been seen in the water off the May and Craigleith. David Steel, Isle of May reserve manager, had spotted a few females who he was keeping a close eye on, and he was rewarded on Monday with the first seal pup! Last year on our cameras our first pup arrived on 4 October, so keep your eyes peeled on the camera over the coming weeks!

Gannets and gugas begin to head off from the Bass with the “training area” around the lighthouse courtyard all but empty – a good sign that the ramps installed by Maggie over the past couple of years have been helpful in the gugas taking their first flight. No doubt they would have found a way eventually but these ramps have definitely had a positive impact on the gugas as they take this leap of faith. Many of our regular members have also been able to see this behaviour first hand and we have been receiving great feedback!

The peregrines are making more and more appearances on Fidra, Bass Rock and this week Craigleith. Erin and Irene spotted a male on one of the higher ledges this past Monday on Craigleith. Thanks to SOS Puffin, a lot of the tree mallow that used to cover these popular ledges has been cut back and rock outcrops are now visible to us and are giving us great images of the peregrine.

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