Friday 26th March comments: It has been talked about and we thought it would happen (but maybe not this quickly) but we have the news that the first Shags are on EGGS!!
Late yesterday afternoon a pair were discovered incubating the first egg on the island, which kick starts the new seabird breeding season. European Shags are often the first to start nesting in a season and so it has proved with this discovery. Over the last five days, pairs have been involved in pair bonding and some were noted copulating. A good number now have well constructed nests and it was no surprise when the first egg was discovered.
Despite the knock-back in early February due to the bad weather (including snow on the island), it is great to have a start and this egg will be the first of many over the forthcoming weeks. Interestingly the first date is similar to recent seasons (apart from 2018 due to the ‘Beast from the East’ which delayed all breeding seabirds) as shown with the first egg dates below:
2021: 25th March
2020: Early April (date not known due to lack of any staff on island)
2019: 1st April
2018: 29th April
2017: 29th March
2016: 22nd March
2015: 19th March
So it begins and slowly and surely the seabird season starts after a sleepy winter. We look forward to bringing you all the news and reports from the island this year so keep tuning in.