Wildlife sightings 10 May 2018

“A ringed shag on the Isle of May”

Notes from the Discovery Centre – Natasha

Like the previous week we have seen a selection of gulls on both Fidra and Craigleith, with eggs now on Fidra. The greylag goslings spotted last week have yet to be seen again, it’s possible that the gulls may have played a part. The number of gannet eggs on both Bass Rock cameras has increased, and we’re expecting this number to rise further over the week!

The Isle of May shag soap opera continues – Lola and Baz have added another egg to their nest, so we are keeping an eye out for any more in the coming days. We are also seeing some younger ringed birds returning to the isle with lots of interaction. On Friday a seal made an appearance, and unfortunately a dead gannet was also visible on the beach. In brighter news the blue skies have brought more puffins, razorbills and guillemots, with the peregrine often resting on a shaded cliffside spot.

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


Wildlife sightings 3 May 2018

Notes from the Discovery Centre – Mal

This week we have had a new shag nest on Craigleith along with loads of guillemots. There is a cormorant nest with an egg! Also, on the island there have been shelducks along with the peregrine. Fidra has had cormorants and fulmars along with a selection of gulls.

Our big news though is that we are fairly certain we have our first, on camera, gannet egg on the Bass Rock. There are even more gannets that have settled and now there is not much space to see.

Finally, on the Isle of May there are multiple comings and goings on the shag nests, new partners a-plenty. It’s more like a soap opera than a nature watch. Along with razorbills and guillemots we are having more sightings of puffins. We have been told there is also a puffin egg on the Island so hopefully we will see a lot more activity in the coming days.

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

Wildlife sightings 26 April 2018

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Mal, Helen & Alex

Gannets are settling nicely on the Bass, there are already nesting pairs in front of our cameras. On Fidra we have seen peregrines, one razorbill and lots of nest building shags. There are still a few displaying cormorants on Craigleith. Puffins only landing for a day or so, but can be seen on the water around the island.

The big news of the week concerns the Isle of May. We have noticed quite a few changes in pairings this year compared to previous years. Unfortunately, there has been no sign of ‘Charlie’ since Beast from the East hit. We have seen his partner from last year, Lola, with a new male (red band ‘BAZ’) but on a different nest, adjacent to her old nest. Charlie’s old nest has been taken over by a familiar pair from last year, Sid and Nancy. There has been some sparring and arguing over this nest between them and Lola, who obviously still has some feelings of attachment to that nest. ‘Burton’ has also returned to his regular nest from last year but no sign of ‘Taylor’ just yet. The news from the island and David Steel is that almost 50% of the shags have not returned following the bad weather a couple of months ago.

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


Wildlife sightings 19 April 2018

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Mal

Well, the islands are filling up nicely, we are starting to see more puffins on the islands. However, it’s either an all or nothing affair. Puffins are on Fidra, Craigleith and the Isle or May all at once or none at all! Fidra continues to be the destination of variety of species. We have had a shelduck and a greylag goose this week, along with the normal fulmars, cormorants and shags.

Craigleith has pairs of cormorants involved in nest building and a lot of shags, in and around the edge of the island. Isle of May, again more shags with lots of guillemots on the stack every morning.

On the Bass, the gannets seem more settled now and we are seeing more pairs around nesting sites. Another species that seems more settled are the kittiwakes of Dunbar harbour. Along with the male eider ducks, it is a very busy harbour compared to last week.

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

Wildlife sightings 12 March 2018

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Erin

Monday brought both sunshine and more puffins! Spotted across the three islands – Fidra, Craigleith and the Isle of May. The May also hosted guillemots into the late afternoon – perhaps a sign that they are settling in a little more after the poor weather.

The Craigleith cormorants have been displaying like mad, sitting on their growing nests showing stiff wing flaps and bobbing heads. All their effort hasn’t been for nothing though as we spotted the first eggs of the year in a cormorant nest on Monday!

Peregrine falcons continue to come and go as always – disappearing to shelter when the weather is poor, while gannet numbers are getting there slowly but surely.

Today we’ve had a couple of seals over on the May along with lots of eiders both in the sea and along the beach. Shag sightings continue to be low but will hopefully pick up over the week to come.

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

Wildlife sightings 5 March 2018


Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

It has been pretty quiet on the cameras lately due to the harsh weather and strong winds. Fulmars, shags and cormorants however continue to settle on the islands and tolerate the awful conditions. Gannets continue to return to the Bass Rock and we have seen a few more reunited pairs over the past week.

Some hopeful sunny weather may encourage the return of more seabirds to the islands over the next few days. The peregrines appear occasionally when the wind dies down and are often found on their favourite ledges or cliff tops. Greylag geese were also spotted this week on Fidra and Craigleith respectively.

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

Wildlife sightings 29 March 2018

Notes from the Discovery Centre team – Alex

A surprise sighting today of an otter behind the new flood wall. Strong waves and the swell had forced it to take shelter on the rocks. Otherwise it looked very healthy.

Gannet numbers are beginning to increase following the spell of poor weather and we have noticed a few pairs reuniting after spending the winter apart. The big news of the week however was the return of puffins to the Isle of May and Fidra respectively. They are still a little flighty at the moment and although we see plenty in the mornings they are often gone before midday. Guillemots and razorbills are also being spotted on many of the islands but again only in the mornings before heading back out to sea later on in the day.

Kittiwakes have also returned to Dunbar harbour in small numbers but the stacks have begun to fill and fill over the past couple of days which is great to see. Cormorants and shags are returning to their nests respectively and especially the Craigleith colony. Still no sign of our favourite shag pairs on the Isle of May and we are hoping that they managed to escape the poor weather.

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