Saturday, 21 July 2012

Who dares the rain will get puffins.

Everyone knows it has been a wet year. The Isle of May is normally one of the driest places in Scotland receiving only about 560mm a year....but not this year. On Wednesday we got a months rain in a day 47mm or a 2 inch layer of water over the whole island and this is on top of twice the usual amount of rain for the last 3 1/2 months. This latest water logging soaked late guillemot and razorbill chicks on the cliffs, saturated unprotected gull chicks and flooded more pufflings out of their burrows. It is ironic that in a year where there have been plenty of sandeel's and other small fish prey for the birds they have had to struggle with poor weather. And it is another reminder that the climate is changing, wildlife is being affected and we must all do our bit if we want to continue to see seabirds such as puffins on islands close to Britain.

As we splashed around in the torrential rain we were treated to a spectacle sight. The poor weather had brought in amazing numbers of puffins and they covered the island. At this time of year lots of puffins including young non-breeding birds, gather on the island for burrow prospecting, partner choosing and socialising and these numbers are at their most with the bad weather. So if you are booked to come out to the island on one of the boats and are thinking of cancelling because it is raining think again, you might see a special sight and as they say who dares wins, after all it is only water. 

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