Friday 22nd October comments: The day of the Dovekie! Well for British birders, we know these birds as Little Auks, and today we’ve seen some!
These small auks (smaller than a Puffin and they feed on plankton – they are that small) breed in the high Arctic in colonies which are estimated at being one million strong (that’s a lot of Little Auks). At this time of year, if the winds come from the far north, or north-west, the east coast of the UK can have big numbers recorded as birds are displaced and are then re-orientating and heading back north.
So today was a good day with 81 Little Auks counted (following some strong north-west winds) with small groups landing on the sea around the island suggesting we might record more tomorrow. These small visitors are incredible to watch and it was wonderful to note them in small groups around the island. The Isle of May is actually unique to the British isles for little Auk as it one of only a few sites which usually have Little Auks over-wintering so we may end up seeing even more over the next few weeks. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy today’s sightings and will be bringing you news about tomorrow…
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