Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A day trip and nearly there

The Isle of May is a long way out across a rough sea.

Across the Forth to Bass Rock

At the beginning of the season its hard to remember how the life jackets go on!

Colin in the RIB Osprey coming into Anstruther after the first trip.

I day tripped over to the island today but got no further than Alterstanes landing and it was snow whipped, bumpy trip but good to get to the island if only briefly for me.  The RIB Osprey had already taken one load of contractors and gear over to the island, the first trip to the island for 10 days. The second load I was on and was a bunch of boxes of equipment for myself and for the researchers. We couldn't get to the Kirkhaven harbour as the swell was too big so we had to land the researchers and boxes at Alterstanes where it is more sheltered from the easterlies. So for me it was case of standing on the landing for a few minutes and then off again while Mark, Adam and Carrie are staying on the island for the night to check if any seabirds are showing signs of starting to breed and do some repairs to the hides. I came back to the mainland again but go back over with another load tomorrow  to stay.
One worrying thing is that we are starting to get news of a puffin wreck, that is a mass mortality of puffins. It seems that 100 or so were found dead near St. Cyrus, 20 + near Carnoustie and as we approached the island today we saw 1 dead on the water and another being eaten by a GeeB (Greater Black backed Gull). These wrecks happen when the birds haven't been able to feed well, often due to rough weather when it is more difficult for them to catch fish. Overall this winter doesn't seemed to have been a good one for seabirds. The changing climate seems to mean more storms and big weather events which is not good for seabirds. Take some time to think about what you are doing that might affect the climate and what lifestyle changes you might like to make to help the puffins ?

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