The State of the Island – the views of 24th August

It is an in between time on the island. The seabirds have finished their breeding cycle and all except a few gulls and shags have headed back out to the sea until next March. There is a pause in the autumn bird migration and the seal breeding season has another month to go before its starts. So it is a time of (relative) peace and quiet. The weather has actually been quite warm bringing out a mass of butterflies especially the small tortoiseshell.

But the rain continues, mainly heavy showers, keeping the island still damper than it normally is at this time of year.  And you can just start to see the turning of the season in the turning of the plants. The thistles are fast going to seed, the leaves of the silverweed are rolling up and turning beautiful autumn colours and the sea campion is finally running out of steam in its mammoth flowering effort.

The is a quite tranquillity about the island which brings the lighthouses to the fore and gives a chance to take a bit of a deep breath and review the past seabird season and look forward to the rest of the field season.

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