Yesterday we said good bye to the last of the seabird researchers, Mark Newell and Carrie Gunn. Throughout the breeding season we have had many people staying over to do various studies on the birds, from feeding rates to prey size, putting GPS loggers on the birds to attaching minute cameras on shags’ backs. This is all done through CEH, who use the Isle of May as its unique study plot. Researchers have been coming out here for over 40 years and the long term study continues to this day, looking at the effects of environmental change on the seabird colony here.
Mark and Carrie arrived mid-April, and have only left the island of a weekend each before they left yesterday. This just shows their dedication to their work, along with early mornings and working all weathers. With all the equipment packed away and personal items loaded on the boat, these two were reluctant yet glad to head back to the mainland for a long shower and chips. But, before they got into Anstruther, the boat was delayed when a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins headed towards them and swam around the boat before heading up the coast. Not a bad way to leave the island and season behind!