Tuesday 19th May comments: The Isle of May is home to 200,000 seabirds ranging from Puffins to Herring Gulls. However one species which is not talked about very much is our Manx Shearwaters. Over the last fifteen years a pair have been prospecting the island and five years ago breeding was finally confirmed with at least three chicks fledging since that period.
Manx Shearwaters nest in huge numbers on the west coast especially islands such as Skomer, Skokholm and Rum but are rare breeders on the east coast. However due to the dedication and hard work of David and Margaret Thorne breeding has been proven on the Isle of May and we are delighted with the news.
Over the last few nights the pair have returned to the island but more encouragingly a different female has arrived suggesting colony expansion. It would be great news for the May and the east coast if we could have more of these magnificent Shearwaters breeding.
However a word of warning. For anyone wanting to see these birds on the island we are sorry to say it is virtually impossible. Manx Shearwaters are purely nocturnal and like Puffins, nest underground (and the pair did not return until just after midnight on Sunday evening). However it’s great to have them and we’ll celebrate even more seabird success for the Isle of May.