Winter life

Tuesday 13th December comments: The winter months are a quiet time for the island as it drops into a slumber and rests before the start of a new season. However it never completely closes down as even in the deepest darkest winter days, there is life on the rock…

The winter is a special time for the Isle of May as it’s a time of rest, tranquility and calm. The majority of Grey Seals will have gone, whilst the vast majority of seabirds are far and wide. However small number of Shags over-winter, using the island for a roosting site returning each day to favour sheltered locations whilst Guillemots return to cliff ledges for a very short period every morning. These seabirds are not thinking of breeding just yet but are gearing up as March will come around very quickly (it’ll fly around!). Other birdlife on the island include a small number of Short-eared Owls which take advantage of an island without humans but more importantly the vast numbers of mice which can be found at this time of year.

Other life includes our small rabbit population which maintains a presence a small number of passerines such as Rock Pipit, Robin and Wren all eek out an existence during the frozen months. As for us humans, we’ll be doing our winter checks as usual but we’ll leave the island to settle as it won’t be long before the lighter nights are returning, the seabirds are heading back and we’ll be opening our doors once again. The new season on the Isle of May is not that far away and we can’t wait.

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