Tuesday 26th January comments: It may still be mid-winter but with lighter nights on the horizon our thoughts have started turning towards the spring and the new season on the Isle of May. In less than eight weeks, our seabirds will start returning with everything from Guillemots to Kittiwakes returning to May waters.
However the real star of the show will arrive in their thousands; our Puffins. Having spent the winter out at sea (they’ve not seen land since last August) huge numbers will descend on the island, setting foot on dry land for the first time in eight months. Having not seen their partners during that period (Puffins pair bond for life), courtship displays and pair bonding will be a feature before spring cleaning of burrows will commence in early April (they’ll return to the same burrow year-on-year). We then expect to discover the first egg by mid-April and then the breeding season will well and truly be upon us.
This ritual will be played out across all major Puffin colonies down the east coast from the Farne Islands and Coquet Island in Northumberland to the Isle of May in Fife and beyond. It’s a great time to see these magical birds and if you’ve got access to a Puffin colony I would highly recommend visiting. You may just be amazed…
To visit the Isle of May boats sail from late March:
May Princess (from Ansthruther, Fife): http://www.isleofmayferry.com/
Osprey Rib (from Ansthruther, Fife): http://www.isleofmayboattrips.co.uk/
Seabird Rib (from North Berwick): http://www.seabird.org/visit/boats/isle-of-may-landings/10/22/159