Saturday 11th June comments: The Isle of May never sleeps at this time of year as the birds and the team living on the island are as busy as they’ll ever be. The various research teams, staff and volunteers are in the thick of the action and this next week we’ll introduce these people and the work that is done.
However its been a busy time recently as the NatureScot team have continued counting the nesting seabirds and yesterday we completed the important tern population counts. Three weeks after the first laying date of our Arctic Terns we enter the colonies to count the number of nests across the island. This date (three weeks after laying) is regarded as the peak number of Terns which will nest and it is repeated across all Tern colonies in the UK.
Yesterday it was our turn to count as the first eggs were discovered on 20th May. In ‘police search’ fashion, the team walked through the colonies (we are extremely careful to watch our feet and ensure disturbance is kept to a minimum, moving on quickly after a count). Each nest counted represents a pair of nesting birds so we can build our population levels from this process. The hard work of creating tern habitat has also paid off, encouraging more birds to nest. However the real hard work now starts, as we have numbers to crunch and we’ll reveal the population counts once all the figures are in. Fingers crossed it’s on the up and we can continue to help the Terns of the Isle of May.