Wildlife sightings 17 November 2016

The weekly wildlife sightings from the Discovery Centre team

Isle of May seals

Isle of May seals

Alex Turnbull

The Isle of May is now full of grey seals and pups! We think at least 63 have been born at Pilgrim’s Haven, though there will probably have been more that we just can’t see or unfortunately haven’t made it. A lot of the pups have begun to moult and we are noticing a drop in the number of females that are on the beach. Some of these have probably weaned their pups off milk and have either mated already with their bull or are waiting for their bull to arrive on the beach. Some of the seals have also started their small adventure up the slope towards the pipe and wall. This occurs every year (both pups and adults) and can be seen on the cameras.

Craigleith has been a bit more difficult to record and monitor the seal pup count due to power difficulties. A landing survey was carried out on Sunday and Sarah from the Discovery Centre team was part of the counting team. They counted 45 pups, and some have begun the process of moulting. This shows that although we see many via our cameras, it is difficult to get the full number without landing on the island itself.

We have been seeing a female grey seal quite close to the shore over the past couple of days and on Monday she was spotted right next to the Centre and even swimming in and out of the boating pond. Thankfully, she headed back out as the tide went out and didn’t get stuck!

Fidra has seen a few greylag geese return as well as lots of eiders on the water. The peregrines continue to make an appearance on the cliff ledges and on Sunday they were seen from the boat chasing the ducks and winter waders. On this occasion both a female and male were spotted, though difficult to tell if the female was an adult or the young juvenile.

Check out the cameras on the Seabird Centre website – click HERE. 


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