Wildlife sightings 23 November 2017

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

We have noticed a slight drop in the number of seals currently on Isle of May though this is likely due to the mothers now weaning their pups and beginning to make their way back out to open water following mating. There are still plenty of pups to see on the beach on the May camera with many having already moulted but there are still a few smaller and leaner pups. Unfortunately these latter pups may have been abandoned so we hope that any mothers that are still currently on the beach will adopt them or provide them with milk to build up their blubber and fat reserves.

We still have a handful of gugas left on the Bass Rock and thankfully they are still getting visits and feeds from dad. They have been flapping their wings so it may only be a few more days until they head off for West Africa. Today Isobel, Jenny and I watched our young female peregrine on Fidra tuck into her breakfast which what appeared to be a blackbird, so quite a light breakfast! Some of our regular morning members were able to watch her feed too before she flew off. We continue to see our peregrines, often both at the same time on some mornings, which provides us with some wildlife to show our visitors.

To keep up-to-date with the webcam action, click HERE.

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Wildlife sightings 16 November 2017

211117 la isle of may

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Helen

Seal season is in full swing with masses of pups on Craigleith and Isle of May.  Some of the first pups will have left and headed out to sea to fend for themselves. There are lots of chubby pups – like a haggis with flippers, someone told us!

We still have a few gannets left on Bass Rock. The chicks have almost shed their white fluffy down so it won’t be long before they’re off.  The parents are still coming back a few times a day to feed them, but when left alone the chicks wander about and practise flying by flapping their huge wings.

We’re still seeing gulls, shags and peregrines.  And there are smaller birds, like pipits and wagtails foraging amongst the rocks.

To keep up-to-date with the webcam action, click HERE.

Wildlife sightings 9 November 2017

211117 la isle of may 2

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Erin

Seal pup numbers have continued to grow this past week with over 30 pups now on Craigleith. One of the eldest has already begun to moult, indicating that it is around three weeks old. We have watched some of the older pups on the May taking to the water for the first time. Getting caught on the incoming tide can be fatal for pups who don’t yet carry enough blubber, however as the larger pups are better insulated, they’re able to handle a little swim.

The remaining gugas continue to do well and are still being fed several times a day. As older gugas continue to fledge, we have seen several wandering around looking a little confused as to why all the space has opened up and where everyone else has gone, they’re trying to find their way to the cliff edge.

The peregrines continue to be seen on Fidra, sometimes two at the same time but on different ledges. The individuals we are seeing at the moment look different to our regular peregrines though the young female peregrine still makes appearances on her usual cliff ledges.

Keep up-to-date with the wildlife action on our webcams – click HERE. 

Wildlife sightings 2 November 2017

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Erin

Seal season continues with over 60 pups having now been born around our cameras on the May. Some of the eldest pups (around 3 weeks) have already began to moult, leaving tufts of their old white fluffy pelt blowing across the beach. Pups are first white in colour as traditionally they would have been born on ice. Although that isn’t the case today, the pups in the Forth have very few predators and therefore camouflage isn’t as necessary. The Craigleith colony continues to do well with 14 pups being spotted on our last camera count. No more live births, however some of the newer pups have continued to be named by visitors such as “Postman Pat” who we welcomed into the world last Friday.

A handful of gugas remain on the Bass and we continue to see juveniles fledging daily. There are still one or two chicks who have a few weeks longer to wait, but if they continue to be fed by their parents they should make it to fledge. Both a male and female peregrine were spotted on Fidra sitting very close to one another, this was a point of interest for visitors as it allowed them to really see the distinctive differences such as size and colour between the two.

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