Wildlife sightings 11 May 2017

Wildlife sightings from the Discovery Centre team – Erin

Our first chicks of the year that belong to a pair of cormorants on Craigleith are just over a week old and now a little bit more visible in their nest. Cormorant chicks grow very quickly and will be the size of their parents in a matter of weeks. The chicks will spend the next 6 -7 weeks in the nest before fledging, however once they leave they will continue to spend time with their parents going on family feeding trips. We have been able to spot a couple more nests with chicks across the Craigleith cormorant colony, but are now eager to spot the first shag chicks over on the May. We suspect the first chicks will come from Charlie and Lola but are continuing to find new nest sights. One pair of shags have decided to nest in a small cave close to our camera and have been appropriately named Fred and Wilma after the Flintstones.

Although some eggs are already beginning to hatch, many are still to be laid. We are just starting to see some guillemot eggs on our Fidra north camera. Unfortunately, with guillemot eggs the saying strength in numbers is very true and some of the earliest eggs spotted, didn’t make it very long. This time of the year makes it very easy for gulls to pick off any eggs but we will soon see them lasting longer as the adults start to form larger and stronger colonies, all protecting their single eggs.

Gannet eggs are appearing all over the place and with many sites close to our cameras now containing eggs, we have been able to see plenty up close. It will be a good few weeks before they start to hatch, but hopefully we will have found a few not long into June.

Some seals have been seen across Craigleith and the May, both swimming in the water and basking on the rocks. It has been a quiet few weeks with peregrine sightings but we have seen a couple over Fidra and Craigleith the last few days. Puffins have been hanging around a lot more recently and some days we have been able to observe them well into the afternoon.

Check out the action live from our webcams. 


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