Friday, 5 June 2009

1, 2, 3, 4, lots..........

On Tuesday evening we carried on with the counts of Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Fulmar. We hope to finish a count of all the cliff-nesting birds on the island by the weekend and then hopefully can repeat the count to give us a more reliable estimate. Counts of study plots have also begun, these will be repeated ten times in the next fortnight and will give us a more reliable snapshot of the population dynamics.

We were treated to a bit of fun with a young seal as we paddled the tender back in to shore on Tuesday evening. It enjoyed playing with the paddles and even seemed to want its tummy tickled! This is a young Seal and they are often more curious and playfull than the adults - not always a good thing as this Seal already had several scars on it's back possibley from boat propellors.

More fantastic weather during the week bought lots of visitors and meant that the staff could get on with seabird counts. Below some bits of film taken through the telescope during seabird counts.........

Most of these Guillemots will have small chicks, they sit pretty tight so you have to watch for a while to get a sight of the egg or chick. The calls are the braying calls of the Guillemots and show what a busy, noisy place seabird colonies are - it is also quite smelly when the sun shines on all that fishy guano!

Also some Kittiwakes incubating, some are still busy collecting nest material from grassy patches on the cliffs or pond edges around the island. The calls are of Kittiwake - one of those useful calls that sounds like their name - 'Kitt-eee-wake'.

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