Globe Trotters

Friday 3rd November comments: At this time of year the Isle of May NNR is one of the busiest Grey Seal nurseries in the UK with thousands of pups being born across the island. However the majority of our summer seabirds have gone far and wide and do you ever wonder where these birds are? Well we have some answers…

The majority of our Kittiwakes have now departed the North Sea and are wintering off Greenland, whilst Fulmars are far out in the North Sea, braving the elements. Our Puffins winter across the North Sea and North Atlantic whilst interestingly our Guillemots are not far from the island, wintering locally. Shags generally remain with us all year round.

However the real long distant migrants are the Terns with Sandwich and Common Terns wintering off West Africa, but none flyer further than our Arctic Terns. These impressive flyers winter off the pack-ice of the Antarctic and will be in almost 24 hours daylight during January as a direct result. So the next time you visit the Isle of May, just remember how far these birds have travelled to be with us. Nature never ceases to amaze.

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