Wildlife Sightings 30 September

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More and more grey seals are arriving back to our respective colonies on Isle of May and Craigleith. Still too early for the first pup to be seen on camera (4th October going off the past two years on the May!) though two pups have already been born on the May with the oldest now approaching two weeks old. One or two bulls have been seen around the May cameras but the majority are returning females, some of which look heavily pregnant which is a good sign. At the moment, you are likely to see the seals in the water ‘bottling’/sleeping or resting on the lower shore line of either the May or Craigleith.

There are still several gugas with dense white down so these will likely be our late leavers on the Bass Rock, though there are signs of the rock thinning out and this can even be seen from the centre. We have been seeing some great fledging behaviour of some of the older chicks jumping from the lighthouse courtyard and roof to the delight of patiently waiting visitors, staff and volunteers.

Shags, cormorants and peregrines can still be seen on the lower areas of the islands with the latter making a few appearances on Craigleith in recent weeks. Waders are now becoming more prominent with redshanks, turnstones and oystercatchers foraging around the rockpools at low tide and the unmistakable call of the oystercatcher can be heard overhead.

Keep up-to-date with the wildlife action with our webcams.

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Wildlife Sightings 23 September

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The Isle of May has had a beach clean in preparation for the start of seal season.   With all the heavy rain there was a lot of rubbish washed up at Pilgrim’s Haven.  We’re eagerly anticipating our first seal pup – one has already been born at the north of the island.

The gannets are thinning out on Bass Rock as the gugas head off, shortly followed by their parents.  We still have quite a few stuck by the lighthouse.  It’s been painful to watch them struggle up to the top of the ramp, contemplate the view and then come back down again!  We have seen a few take to the air though too.

Shags and gulls are still on view in numbers and we’re seeing waders and the smaller birds on camera – oystercatchers and pied wagtails, in particular.

Keep up-to-date with the wildlife action with our webcams.

Wildlife Sightings 16 September

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The gannets continue to be the main show!  You really get a sense of their huge wingspan seeing the gugas practising for their first flight.  And the air is full of down as they shed their baby fluff and grow the brown speckly juvenile feathers.  There are several stuck by the lighthouse, one half way up the ramp but it hasn’t worked out what to do next!  We’ve a lovely view of a much smaller chick on camera – here’s hoping he fledges before the weather gets too bad.

The shags are still around in numbers – gathered on the shoreline, preening after a hard day’s fishing. Our fulmar chicks are no longer in view so it would seem they’ve headed off to sea. Today we had a group of young eider ducks in Dunbar harbour.

There are quite a lot of grey seals milling around Dunbar and the Isle of May lately. They are not breeding anywhere that our cameras can see however there has been a pup born on the Isle of May this week! It won’t be long until the island is covered in seals as around 3500 come on land to breed in the next few weeks.

Keep up-to-date with the wildlife action with our webcams.