The first Arctic Tern has been sighted today on the May, signalling the start of another busy monitoring season. These birds make an epic 43,000 mile round trip every year to winter off Antarctica and potentially see more daylight than any other living creature. During the tern breeding season we are busy doing tern watches, noting down the number of nests and how they progress through the season. To do this without disturbing the birds we need a hide! So with the fog clearing, Sarah (our new long term volunteer) was out there with a paint brush sprucing up the hides.
It has been a day of painting as we have also been busy painting 100 small canes (that will mark some of the island’s Eider nests) and painting numbers on pebbles. The pebbles will be put next to Great Black-backed Gull nests in which the numbers of eggs are recorded. We will visit these nests again and record how chicks hatch and eventually fledge. This will give us an indication of how the population is doing here on the May.
Some may call us mad for painting numbers on stones but it’s all in the name of science!