A Funny Old Year

Not one but TWO Woodpigeons' nests!

Not one but TWO Woodpigeons’ nests!

Wren fledgling back in June.

This years Wren fledgling. They last bred on here in 2000.

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They have been elusive but the Blackbirds have raised four young this year.

Monday 3rd August comments: It has been a funny old year 2015. The weather has been unsettled and the seabirds have had a mixed season. But it’s also been peculiar in another way. Bizarrely, we have had 4 new breeding species for the island this year: Blackbird, Wren, Dunnock and (perhaps the strangest of all) Woodpigeon!

There used to be a few smaller passerines that bred here in the past when the Lighthouses keepers were here with their families, growing vegetables and having livestock on the island. Although it is unclear exactly why there has been a huge upsurge in breeding passerines this year, they seem to have had a good season. The Blackbirds have fledged four chicks although they have been very elusive since leaving the nest back in June. The Wrens had a nest at the back of the cottages and successfully raised chicks which are still feeding around the island. The adults have been seen around the nest and singing so could possibly be on to another brood

The Dunnocks have been present seen early April and have been very elusive since they were first seen carrying nest material in May: it wasn’t until July that a nest with young was discovered. These have now fledged and are still being fed by the adults.

Finally and most incredibly, it has now been confirmed that there is not one but two Woodpigeon nests. This is a remarkable record and signals the first breeding record for this species on the May. The clue to why they don’t breed out here on the May is in the name, WOODpigeon! There aren’t that many woodlands out here six miles out in the Firth of Forth.  After all, doesn’t everyone want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life (or woodland life!) and escape to a quiet island? It has certainly been nice to have them around with Blackbird and wren song bringing a little taste of woodland to this remote little rock.

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