Saturday 20th June comments: It’s been a while since we reported our first seabirds on eggs (Shags were on eggs by 19th March to be precise) and the breeding season has now entered the ‘chick fledging’ stage. Despite the weather (constant westerly wind) the seabirds have, in general, coped well with the conditions and some of the early nesters are starting to fledge young. However the majority of breeders still have plenty of young to feed so the season isn’t over by any stretch!
Puffins: It’s a great time to see the Puffins on the island as parents are actively bringing in food for hungry youngsters, so lots of activity
Guillemot and Razorbill: small numbers have now ‘jumped’ and departed the island but still vast numbers present
Arctic Terns: still attacking heads but lots of chicks have now hatched with lots of feeding activity
Shag: the first chicks fledged on Monday 15th June although as usual, their season is protracted with many still raising small chicks (and some still on eggs!)
Kittiwake: Medium sized young in several nests with small young or eggs in the majority of nests
Eider: Large crèches have formed around the island whilst most have now finished nesting. Drakes are starting to moult into ‘eclipse’ plumage state.
Visiting: The island is open seven days a week until 30th September and it is well worth visiting the island for its spectacular seabirds and stunning scenery. It’s free to visit the nature reserve, but you must take a boat trip to reach the island. Sailings are on the privately-run May Princess or Osprey from Anstruther Harbour or through the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick.
May Princess (Anstruther) http://www.isleofmayferry.com
Osprey Rib (Anstruther) http://www.isleofmayboattrips.co.uk
Seabird Rib (from North Berwick) http://www.seabird.org/index.php