Wildlife sightings 15 December 2016

The latest from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

Fidra December

Grey seals are still present on our cameras though we are noticing numbers beginning to drop. There are still a few young pups with the majority having already moulted or are beginning the process of moulting their pup fur. Craigleith numbers are a lot higher given the different start times of the breeding season so there are still lots of pups to be seen!

Peregrines are still ever present on Fidra as well as Craigleith. Fulmars have also returned to Fidra this week with many pairs being spotted demonstrating courtship behaviour. They will often stay on land for a few weeks before heading back out to sea for the first few months of the New Year.

The ‘Christmas Island’ event has been quite popular with visitors over members’ week and so we have decided to continue this into Christmas itself and over New Year. The films and information on the screens has captured the attention and curiosity of many visitors as well as staff and volunteers. The march of the crabs film in the flyway has also been very popular and a nice break between 3D films. Camera maintenance is ongoing so having different topics like Christmas Island and red crabs has been a nice alternative during the winter season.

Keep up-to-date with the wildlife action via the Seabird Centre webcams. 



Wildlife sightings 8 December 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Scott

Abbotts Booby from Christmas Island

Our peregrines have been the main focus this week with pairs being spotted regularly on Fidra and Craigleith. The Fidra pair is actually a father and daughter who share the island and are often seen sitting very close together. Peregrines rarely, if ever, cohabit like this so we are seeing some behaviour which is possibly unique to Fidra. The Craigleith pair is unrelated and are often visible from our telescope deck and from our cameras.

Elsewhere our seals are still declining as the season is coming to an end. The last few pups are nearly weaned and the majority of females have already left, leaving their pups to moult and head out to sea. We believe that this year has seen a record number of seals pups on Craigleith and are hopeful that the Isle of May has also had a good year, though the official count is yet to be released.

Meanwhile, in the Discovery Centre, we are switching our focus to Christmas, both with our lovely decorations and our exhibits. This year we are focusing on Christmas Island and the unique (and bizarre) wildlife it has on offer. The tidal tank is currently empty as we are in the process of a complete revamp with the remaining animals being either released or moved into the main tank. Our lobster, unofficially dubbed “Mrs Claws”, is also doing well in her tank and is drawing a lot of attention from our visitors.

Keep up-t0-date with sightings via the Seabird website. 


Wildlife Sightings 2 December 2016

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Scott

It’s been a very cold week but our seals pups are still doing well on Craigleith and the Isle of May. We had two confirmed seal births in the last week and although late in the season, the pups still have enough time to grow up and leave before the conditions become too difficult. There was a young seal washed up opposite the Glen golf course which caused some concern but which made it back to sea by itself. It is likely it was just exploring and got brought in on the tide. If you do find a seal pup then please let us or the Scottish SPCA know and don’t get too close!

Elsewhere it is fairly quiet. Our peregrines are still appearing regularly on Fidra and Craigleith, with the Craigleith ones often visible from the telescope deck as well. Also from the telescope deck we are still seeing many waders, such as turnstones and oystercatchers, along with quite a few starlings. As the Winter progresses it is likely we will be seeing more and more waders, with birds such as redshanks becoming more and more prevalent.