Monday, 9 April 2012

Back to Reality

the puffins have been on the island in good numbers the last few days.

Thecliffs have been packed with  guillemots

The razorbills have been enjoying the strong winds.

The kittiwakes are masters of the cliff airs.

The dust has settled, the hail has melted, the volunteers have left, the cargo stowed, the mousehouse painted and the cottages have dried out..a bit. We are ready at the start of the season. Jeremy and I have both returned from our winter existence to real life on the island for the summer. And we are very glad to be back. Of course it isn't always easy out here, we work long days, battle the elements and miss home life but how could you not love it when you have puffins as you garden bird,  kittiwakes as your dawn chorus, shags as your main dinner time topic of conversation and seals as singing partners. Out here the weather is usually the first and last thing you look at each day, the tides next and so your day is dominated by the natural elements and the wildlife. It is a life a long way for that on the mainland and some might say that it is an escape from reality but who is to say that this is not real life itself.
So our day usually starts with a quick walk around to see what birds are on the island. Then a chat about what work to do over breakfast and coffee before starting on the tasks of the day. The seabirds are our compass at the moment, the puffins are coming and going but getting steadier by the day. The guillemots and razorbills have had 3 days of packing out the ledges but this morning had thinned out but will be back shortly to continue with the pair bonding and establishing a nesting ledge.  I saw the first kittiwakes carrying nesting material yesterday so they seem well established on the cliff faces. The shags are already well into laying on their shaggy but decorated nests. All perfect timing for the first visitor boats that have been coming over the last few days. This is it, back to reality.

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