Troubled Waters

Shag 11

Adult breeding plumaged Shag looking for food

Shag 22

Difficult times ahead..

Friday 2nd March comments: The Isle of May has been battered this week, with the ‘Beast from the East’ delivering huge amount of snow, low temperatures and biting gale force winds. As staff, we’ve seen out the worst and largely remained inside safe and warm with fires on (and a wee dram to help us sleep!)

However our attentions focus on the wildlife of the island which has been feeling the pinch. Fortunately the majority of seabirds are still on wintering grounds and have avoided the worst of the weather. However the Shag population remains throughout the winter months and with continued easterlies, birds will struggle to find food as turbulent seas makes feeding difficult, combined with low overnight temperatures.

As a result mortality can increase during these difficult times and we are hoping it’s not as bad as we potentially fear. However you can help peace the jigsaw together. If you are out on the coast (wear your thermals!) and you find a dead ringed Shag, either with a metal ring, a plastic ring or both, then we’d love to hear from you. Please send any sightings (dead or alive) to  as all data is valuable and helps pull together a better understanding of these birds.

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