Sunday, 3 April 2011
All over the place
It has been blowing all over the place. Beautiful blue skies but a fair wind to go with it. The visitor boat didn't make it over Friday or Saturday but 15 brave souls made it across today to be our first visitors of the year. Amongst them a lady who has lived in Crail for the last 30 years, looking out at the May every day but made it across for her first visit.
So what was there for them to see. Well down at Lady's Bed one of the shags has got itself into a mess. As you can see from the picture it has got a plastic beer ring that holds group of beer cans together stuck around its body. If only the person who carelessly threw this away could see what their thoughtlessness has done. Here on the Isle of May a problem like this means much more because most of the shags are known personnally. As many as possible are ringed with coloured plastic rings with a individual code of letters (called darvic rings) and this shag, YY is a male that has been around for many years and is well known to the researchers. We will see what we can do about the bird before it gets harmed.
The puffins which are usually top of most peoples lists were mostly at sea. They don't just appear out of the mists, land on the island and get down to it. They take a long time making the transformation from their main lifestyle of living out in the middle of the sea to being land based for breeding. This means that they are on the island some days and off for others. The guillemots and razorbills are the same but today they were on. This was the first time this season that I have seen the cliffs full, even if only temporarily and the roar from the ledges that the day before were bare really gets the adrenaline running.
In contrast to the seabirds we have land birds moving throgh the island heading north with the wave of spring. Our first swallow flitted through closely followed by a couple of sand martins. Even more interestingly was the treecreeper found by Jeremy. These don't turn up very often on the May and this one was obviously very hungry as the tiny trees on the island weren't enough to satisfy it and so it creeped walls instead. The interesting thing about this bird is that it seemed to be very pale and with a clear, obvious stripe over the eyee. This made it a scandanavia bird where their treecreepers are slightly different. So no wonder it was so hungry, it was a long way off its course.