Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Spice of Island Life

Just to show that we get plenty of variety out here on the island here is a selection of just a small amount of what has happened out here over the last 24 hours.
1) - Today it was great to see the May Princess out with 21 visitors who had a great bird spectacular to see. Bad weather has restricted here trips recently but hopefully this is the start of a good run of sailings.
2) - She wasn't the only boat out to the island today, a small RIB came out for its first trip of the year only to have engine trouble. Luckily the RNLI Anstruther lifeboat came out and gave it a tow back, causing a bit of excitement in the harbour at the same time. The lifeboat and its crew are vital for the island and its inhabitants as they are our emergency service.

3) - The migrant bird numbers are dropping, the robins peaked at over 100 but are now down to about 20. However a new bird appeared yesterday, a sleek ring ouzel, stopping off on its way back to the mountains,

4) - After the boat had left I spent sometime yesterday putting up a bat detector. Yes, you read it right, a bat detector. Though there have been fewer than a handful of bat records in recent years there is a suspicion that bats pass through the island on migration. Of course we aren't up and about at night to see them so a local bat group have brought out a fixed bat detector that bolts to the wall, switches it self on each night at dusk and records high frequency sounds. These records are stored on an SD card and downloaded when the card is full. Clever. So I have fixed it to the wall and set it running and we will have to wait and see if we have secret, night time migrating visitors on the May.
Caught in DIY action, thanks to my daughter for the picture
5) - The eider action is hotting up around the island with the males chasing females in any of the quieter areas of water including the loch and Kirkhaven harbour. This is just one of the beautiful males cooing and woohooing while doing wing flapping and head bobbing. As I was putting up the bat detector all I could here was the commotion going on behind me. Once a male and female have paired up on the loch the walk away as a pair to where the female will make her nest, looking rather bashful but purposeful at the same time.

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