Thursday, 22 November 2012

The latest on the building works at the Lowlight

A flying trip made over to the island yesterday to look at progress of the redevelopment of the Isle of May Bird Observatory at the Lowlight.  After a blowy few days the crossing was fine and it was good to see that, although behind schedule, a roof was now on the extension and Neil, Fraser and Gordon had made fine progress. It might even have slates on the roof by Christmas.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Seal latest - what is happening out there now.

Still having technological problems but have finally been able to upload some photos from a day visit to the island I made last week. A clear day but with still a fresh north easterly wind meant that there was a nip in the air and a big rolling swell on the sea. On the approach the cliffs looked cleaner after all the rain  and more grim and imposing.Kirkhaven is closed to all boats because of all of the seals there so we jumped ashore at the iron ladder at Alterstanes.

  Once ashore we walked up round the corner to Burnett's Leap and immediately saw, heard and smelt the difference. The seals were now ashore in big time, covering the flatter parts of the island with boulder like adults and the pups crisp white dots amongst them. Any pools are favourite wallowing places and and large areas had become mud baths.

Down at Kirkhaven it was obvious why we could get boats in, the  jetty and beach are covered in seals and any disturbance would cause a stampede with pups getting squashed or abandoned.  As it is there are still plenty of disagreements between cows wanting to move and upsetting their neighbours. And yet this isn't peak season yet. This comes in November so there are still more seals to come ashore and many more pups to be born if we are to reach our usual season total of 2000 pups born.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sorry we have been off-line

Just a note to say sorry that the blog had gone very quiet, a number of reasons including some technical ones meant that it was not being updated, so apologies to all.
Both Jeremy and I are now both off the island having completed our "season" out there.
We have handed the baton to the Sea Mammal Research Unit seal researchers from St. Andrews University who will be there until mid December. The builders who are working on the development of the Lowlight for the Isle of May Bird Observatory are also out there for a few days each week.
Over the winter period I will be making the occasional day trip and overnight stay and will post news of what the island is looking like and what is happening out there as often as I can.