Thursday 30th April comments: The last day of the month so we thought we’d bring you a seabird roundup with the latest news from the Isle of May:
Puffins: Very settled with birds incubating underground following the discovery of the first eggs on 19th April. We expect the first chicks to start hatching from late May (roughly the 29th May).
Razorbills: Still early in their breeding season with only a small number on eggs although the discovery of the first egg on 18th April was the second earliest ever egg laying date on the island.
Guillemots: Vast numbers now on eggs having laid on 19th April with the first chicks expected in mid-May.
Shags: Following a mild start to spring, birds were incubating by 19th March and now several nests have small young (since 22nd April).
Eiders: Good numbers now present with males displaying on the Loch on the island. The first females were incubating from 16th April.
Kittiwakes: Good numbers present and although showing some signs of nest building, still remain generally inactive.
We still await the arrival of our first Arctic Terns (it won’t be long!) whilst the large Gulls are all nesting across the island. Small numbers of Pied Wagtails and Rock Pipits are incubating whilst the pair of Dunnocks are keeping us guessing – are they actually breeding?
In other news, today brought the discovery of a Quail near the main lighthouse (an early record) although with northerly backed winds, the number of migrants on the island has been low.