3 DA

Little Auk (also known as Dovekie!)


Just for size comparison against a small fishing buoy (They are small!)

Saturday 11th November comments: The Isle of May NNR has a wealth of wildlife but one bird which maybe wintering off here and going under-recorded is the Little Auk, also known as the Dovekie.

These small auks (smaller than a Puffin and feed on plankton – that small) breed on high Arctic islands in colonies which are estimated at being one million strong (that’s a lot of Little Auks). At this time of year, if the winds come from the far north, the east coast of the UK can have big numbers of these birds recorded as birds displaced are re-orientating and heading back north.

However the Isle of May is different. there is a sense that a small number winter around the island regardless of weather and that maybe shown in the fact the island has produced daily records over the last seven days, peaking at 13 on 9th November. Interestingly these birds seem to be favouring the same spot off the north-east tip of the island. It makes an interesting thought that the Isle of May might have a wintering population of Little Auks?

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