During my last few days of shore leave I was down at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust doing a bit of birdwatching. As I was walking around the captive bird enclosures a bird under a bench caught my eye.
It was a Fulmar, a very scarce bird in Gloucestershire. This bird was unlucky enough to have been caught in gales that had blown up the Bristol Channel and got lost.
I managed to catch the bird safely but I then realised I'd never handled one before. The birds are naturally very light. They also had a very interesting fishy smell. It also had a very strong bite. It was not too keen on being handled and drew more blood then a any Puffin ever has!
We kept the bird for 24 hours and released it below the Severn Bridge where it flew away strongly.
So what's a story about about my holidays doing on the blog I hear the readers and particularly David asking?
Well, I found our first Fulmar chick today. Fulmars are our last birds to nest and hatch young on the Isle of May. This bird is at Burnetts leap. The bird had just finished hatching. It still had bits of eggshell on it's back. Here is a close-up of the bird
At the time of writing, as well as all the visitor management work i am also writing our annual report and have totalled up the Fulmar count on the island. The total is 286 occupied nest sites around the island which is down by 20 occupied site last year.