Thursday 23rd March comments: Although the reserve team and researchers have yet to move out to the island on a permanent basis, a small team of volunteers from the Isle of May Bird Observatory have been out since Saturday, preparing for a new season.
As part of this early preparation work the team have been replacing one of the large ‘Heligoland Traps’ on the island ready for the new migration season. Heligoland traps are large netted funnels, which small birds are caught in for bird ringing purposes and the island has four of them. However the age of the traps is starting to show and a replacement program is now underway, replacing each trap over the next few years like-for-like. The Bird Obsvertaory volvunteers have started with the Top trap, which is in the old sunken lighthouse keepers garden adjacent to the lighthouse.
So over the last few days the old trap has been demolished and slowly and surely the new trap is being erected. The valueable trees which grow inside have been coppiced to prolong their life and hopefully we’ll have a fully operational trap in the next weeks ready for the new season. It’s all go on the Isle of May and it won’t be long before the reserve staff return….its nearly that time again.