Wednesday 10th June comments: The world of the Isle of May is at full tilt as the seabird breeding season is at its peak. Seabirds are nesting as they are either incubating eggs or feeding hungry youngsters as it’s certainly a busy place to be. The cliff sides are brimming with life, the Loch is filled with Eider crèches whilst the island tops have thousands of burrow nesting Puffins and vast numbers of large Gulls and Terns scattered across.
The most numerous species to nest on the island are our Puffins (known as Atlantic Puffins) which first touched land in late March (seems a long time ago since we reported their arrival). However although the human occupants of the island have missed the last two months, it’s been business as usual for our Puffins. Across the colonies thousands are nesting (the last census revealed over 40,000 pairs) and good numbers are once again present. However a few tell-tale signs indicate the presence of our first chicks as we’ve seen a reasonable number of adults carrying fish (which indicates they are feeding youngsters) and discarded egg shell can be seen at the entrance of burrows which are from successfully hatched eggs (these egg fragments are removed by adults).
So it’s now all go as over the next couple of weeks the majority of chicks will hatch and adults will be foraging from firs light at 4am all the way through to dusk at 11pm (they don’t get much time off!) So whilst we are just catching up with what is going on, the Puffins are fully at it and chicks are growing by the day. It’s all go on the May!