Saturday, 20 April 2013

Some seabird action

Well that was good, a fine day all round. It felt today as if the season finally kicked off as for the first day the island really felt full of birds. We woke to find good numbers of puffins around the island and better still they hung around for when the visitor boat came on in the afternoon. On the cliffs the ledges were absolutely packed with guillemots and razorbills while many but not all of the kittiwakes nests had birds on them.
It was so good to see that I went and found a quick spot and just sat down to watch the puffins and get an idea of what they were up to. As I came along they all ducked down their burrows but gradually came out once I had settled down with more flying in from the sea. With a little knowledge gleaned from the puffin bible - The Puffin by Mike Harris and Sarah Wanless I was able to watch them go about the start of their breeding season and understand some of the postures and behaviours.
There was a bit of billing, which a puffin pair use to strengthen the bond of their partnership.

There was some gaping which looks a bit like a yawn and is a threat used by both sexes to other puffins.

A bit of wing flapping or shaking on land usually means that a puffin is getting ready to fly but doesn't want to set off on its own.

Some had dirty tummies from being down their burrows cleaning them out and maybe enlarging them ready for egg laying.

The shags are causing some concern but at least a few are starting to build nests.
The kittiwakes are back on the cliffs kicking up their usual racket.

Today there were over 100 grey seals hauled up on the island basking in the sun.
Greenface- the highest cliffs on the island and home to an awful lot of birds

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