Tuesday 28th March comments: We’re back on the Isle of May as all the preparation work is underway to ready the island for our day visitors (first boats arrive Saturday) and then the various island work such as boardwalk repairs and visitor centre clean-up.
On the island itself there is lots of evidence of the new breeding season and even some birds have started early!. Our European Shags, always the first to start nesting, are on eggs. The first eggs were discovered on 20th March and since then several more pairs are now incubating. Our small Cormorant colony is also underway with well-established nests in the north of the island and the first eggs will be found any day soon.
On the cliffs the Guillemots and Razorbills have been ashore in good numbers and will keep coming and going until they settle down from mid-April although very few Kittiwakes are present as birds are still returning from the waters of Greenland and beyond. The island Loch has a small number of Eider ducks present as males are displaying to females whilst Shelduck and Mallard are both back. The large Gulls are setting up territory whilst the clifftops have good numbers of Fulmars present. Puffins have been scarce in recent days but have been ashore but more on them when they arrive in their thousands.
Otherwise it’s the usual slow build up to the seabird breeding season but slowly and surely it’ll be getting more active and we’ll be in full flow once again. Remember we are open daily from Saturday (from 1st April) so if you have not booked a trip out, why not? You’ll not be disappointed.