Yesterday Bex and I came off the island to end our visitor season. I will still be going out to the island through the winter for day trips and the odd night and of course the seal researchers head out for their stay in a week or so time but for us, our 2014 season on the island has come to the end.
For our last night we were invited down to the Lowlight by Mark, Simon, Jake and Klara for a magnificent roast chicken meal and a game of bird bingo (of course), plus a glass or two raised to a fine season.
The next day started early with our maintenance contractors from Alltec arriving at 0730 to carry out a few last jobs while we rushed around clearing up, hoovering, scrubbing, tidying and putting up seal sign before locking up and piling onto the RIB Osprey. There was still time for us to narrowly miss by a few minutes a flock of 12 bearded reedlings pass through the island, only the second record for the Isle of May. What a send off that would have been but such is the birding life on the island, a succession of misses and hits. Back in Anstruther and there was a mountain of gear to unload and squeeze into cars before good-byes and heading off.
It has been a great season with many notable events such as the opening of our new visitor centre, near record numbers of visitors (more of that later), special birds like the lanceolated warbler, and special people like Bill Murray. Thanks to Bex for being a pleasure to work with.
It is always a wrench to leave the island but I must say that by this time of the year part of me is looking forward to being back home, sampling some luxuries like showers, and leading a (more) normal life. But life on the May doesn’t stop here and the blog will be updated on through the winter, though maybe not quite so regularly, so keep checking to see what is going on 6 miles out in the North Sea on the “Jewel of the Forth”