Friday, 9 December 2011

End of Season Clear Out

With high winds forecast we had a mad rush around to close down the island for the winter.
There were few birds about, but on Tuesday morning good numbers of pink-footed geese were coming in off the sea, maybe they new the weather was due to change and wanted to get south when they could.
2 long-eared owls were still about, roosting in the top heligoland trap. The migrant birds that they usually feed on have mostly moved on so my guess is that they will follow soon or go hungry.

And across the island were weaners everywhere. These are newly weaned grey seal pups who have bulked up on a high fat diet from mum but haven't yet got the motivation to move on with the next stage of their lives. You have to be careful as you go around the island as they can literally be everywhere. Lurking in muddy pools.
I don't know how they got there and how they will get out but some were sunbathing on cliff top ledges.
While others turned up in and around the buildings.

This weaner liked a sea view having made it way up nearly to the South Horn.
While this one was sleeping on the path back to the cottages, I literally stepped over it.
And so with the buildings locked up, the laundry, scientific samples, tools and equipment bagged up we headed off for a wet and bumpy ride back to Anstruther. This really is the end of the field season for the May. The island has a short period of peace over Christmas and the New Year but it all kicks off in late when January another visit is required to look at wintering shags and a chance to see another face of this special island. On the way back I made a mental note to myself - in January thermal underwear essential.

1 comment:

  1. I have enjoyed following the May this year and look forward to doing the same next year!