Saturday 17th August comments: It’s almost over. We’ve observed it, we’ve talked about it but now we are officially saying the seabird breeding season of 2019 is at a close. It’s been a mixed season for weather but that hasn’t put the seabirds off. We’ll not know the full extent of how successful the summer has been until the numbers are crunched but circumstantial evidence would suggest a good year for the majority of seabirds.
If you are visiting over the next six weeks (we close the island on 30th September) then we still have lots on offer as the Isle of May is one of those places that just keeps on giving….
Late seabirds: When we say its ‘over’ the seabird season isn’t technically over as the last few Puffins can be seen (still a few attending chicks in burrows), Fulmars have not fledged chicks yet so plenty of large chicks around whilst thousands of Kittiwakes are still present. We’ve also got Shags on the clifftops so still plenty to see.
History and events: Towards the end of August we have two very exciting events lined up over consecutive weekends. We have a local history weekend (24th-25th August) and this is followed by the Open Doors Event (31st August-1st September) which gives you access to all buildings normally under lock and key on the island (including 3 lighthouses!) These are not to be missed!
Walks around island: The views from the island can be spectacular as you can see as far south as St.Abbs Head (Scottish Borders) and heading up towards the Angus coastline. On a clear day you can see Edinburgh and even the famous bridges.
Lighthouse and art exhibition: Completely free to enter, the main Stevenson lighthouse is open daily with the added extra of the art exhibition which is an extension to the popular Pittenweem festival. Well worth a check out!
Migrants: Late August and September is the time to see rare and unusual bird migrants on the island; ask a member of staff about the latest sightings or keep your eyes peeled when you walk around checking any bushes or vegetation for movement. Anything is possible!
For visiting the island, check out the various websites of the boat companies who sail:
May Princess (sails from Anstruther): https://www.isleofmayferry.com/
Osprey rib (sails from Anstruther): http://www.isleofmayboattrips.co.uk/index.php?fullsite=1
Seabird Rib (sails from North Berwick): https://seabird.org/visit/boats/isle-of-may-landings/10/22/159