Seabird Numbers 2015


Puffins doing well on the May

Guillemot with young

Guillemot numbers increased by 12%

Kitti 1

Kittiwake numbers increased by 39%

Razorbill adult

Over 3,200 pairs of Razorbills nested

Monday 7th December comment: Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you the highlights of the 2015 season. Today we start by looking back at the breeding seabird populations and (for once) some positive news…

Despite the weather (summer wasn’t exactly a classic!) the breeding birds of the Isle of May showed some positive signs with increases in a number of species. There were welcome increases in Shag, Kittiwake and Auk numbers whilst Tern numbers are starting to show recovery.

Rare species kept a toe-hold on the island including Manx Shearwater whilst there were no counts of the Gulls or nesting Eiders this year. Amongst the breeding passerines Wood Pigeon nested for the very time whilst Blackbird, Wren and Dunnock also nested (all unusual nesting species for the May).

To visit and see these fantastic seabirds, the island opens from 1st April 2016 with full details released in the New Year.

Manx Shearwater      1 pair

Fulmar                        300 pairs         (down 4.9%)

Shelduck                    4 pairs

Eider                           1,000 pairs      (2014 breeding figure)

Oystercatcher           19 pairs

Shag                           401 pairs         (up 18%)

Kittiwake                    3,433 pairs      (up 39%)

Guillemot                   15,945 pairs    (up 12%)

Razorbill                    3,202 pairs      (up 7%)

Puffin                          46,200 pairs

LBB Gull                    2,047 pairs      (2014 breeding figure)

GBB Gull                   53 pairs

Herring Gull               4,200 pairs      (2014 breeding figure)

Arctic Tern                484 pairs

Common Tern           13 pairs


Swallow                     8 pairs

Rock Pipit                  24 pairs

Pied Wagtail              12 pairs

Wren                           1 pair (first breeding since 1997)

Dunnock                    1 pair (first breeding since 1961)

Wood Pigeon             2 pairs (first ever breeding!)

Blackbird                   1 pair (first breeding since 1951)

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