Tuesday 1st August comments: Today we start revealing our population counts and we start with the Auks; Guillemots and Razorbills. Both of these have seen an increase in numbers.
Guillemots have seen a 2% increase in the number of pairs, increasing to16,468 pairs nesting on the cliffs, the highest count since 2005. Razorbillls have increased 9% to 3,899 pairs, the second highest count in recent years and again the highest count since 2005 when 4,713 pairs bred.
The majority of the young have now left the island, the jumplings (chicks) will be well on their way out to sea, learning what it entails to being an adult Razorbill or Guillemot. These birds will stay out at sea, returning again to island around three years old but not breeding until they reach four or five years of age.
These unassuming Auks are incredible animals, with Guillemots able to dive to depths of over 200 metres to find food and Razorbills capable of living for over 40 years. The long term studies carried out on the May give us an insight into these internationally important populations and from our work we can hopefully do what we can to protect them. For now though, all we can do wish the class of 2017 all the best as they head out to sea for the first time.