As we rapidly approach the end of July the seabirds are well grown, with more and more flying by the day.
Most of the female Eiders have taken their ducklings to sea and will raise the youngsters elsewhere. However we have two broods that have decided to bring up their offspring on the Loch, a brood of two that have almost lost all their down and a family of 6 ducklings that are getting big now.
The Shags have had a good year and most have now left their nests but are still around the island sitting out on the rocks or out at sea learning how to fish.
Our Oystercatcher chicks have grown up quickly and are almost the same size as the adults now. Look out for their slightly browner plumage and dark smudges on their bills.
The first Kittiwake chicks of the year have just taken to the wing and are flying around and washing in the Loch. However, most are still in the nest stretching their wings preparing themselves to take the leap off and fly for the first time.
Gull chicks seem to be everywhere wandering the paths and stretching their legs. Despite their desire to explore, as soon as an adult comes in with food they are back begging for a meal.
The Guillemots and Razorbills have raised their chicks and most are out at sea now, taking on their first winter in the open ocean. They will be taken out to sea by the adults and taught the tricks of the trade.
Our passerines have had a good year with thirteen pairs of Pied Wagtails nesting around the island. The family groups are starting to congregate and roost together in the evening near the Loch or up at the Mainlight. This is the same for our Rock Pipits, with family groups whizzing around. And not forgetting our Swallows, it was only ten days ago we ringed the chicks in the nest and now they’ve fledged and are feeding up before their long journey to Africa.
We’ll bring a full update on the seabirds soon, but it seems to have been a very good season so far, with the food supply and weather being kind to our seabirds. There’s still time to get out and see the seabirds of the May.