Monday 2nd July comments: The Isle of May welcomed the Young Birders Course, a joint venture between the Scottish Ornithological Club, Scottish Natural Heritage, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the Isle of May Bird Observatory. The course runs for one week and six people between the ages of 16-25 attend and are offered the opportunity to find out how bird observatories and nature reserves are managed and the research that goes on.
As part of this year’s course we’ve started the week with a variety of jobs from seawatching (recording passage seabirds) to helping out ringing Great Black-backed Gull chicks. However an important job involves a beach clean along the short 100m beach on the island and the results were as expected…depressing.
In just one hour the team cleaned and removed all the rubbish they could find and as expected, it involved mainly plastics and polystyrene. Everything from cigarette lighters to cotton buds (a lot of cotton buds!) were picked up but sadly it is only scraping the surface as the next incoming tide will bring even more… However we have done something and will keep on working hard to make a difference.