Saturday, 22 June 2013

Isle of May Live and Done

Filming the tern chicks

The stars of the show.

The island looking wonderful under a blizzard of sea campion.

Well thank goodness that is all done. The last 24 hours have been a little on the mad side. The BBC were up yesterday at 0400 to start filming puffins, sunrise etc. I made it at out 0530 to help them and over the first part of the morning we helped them film us putting in canes for the terns, fabricated tern watches, mean-looking gulls (all part of the script) and best of all tern chicks including one still wet from just hatching. At midday we had the usual 110 visitors to deal with including our presenter of the day Catriona Shearer who sailed in on the May Princess. At 1300 the next wave of BBC arrived, riggers and technicians to set up the satellite link and and 90 minutes later then next load of kit. From then onwards things became a little more frantic as various communications issues needed to be solved, rushing riggers needed to be guided through areas of puffin burrows and all the BBC personnel needed to be given guidance of how to deal with the terns. The rehearsals took longer that was planned and then suddenly the programme was starting. In the end there were 4 times the programme came to the island, I think, immediately after tea Mike and a puffling  gave their usual assured performance. But I had to hang around waiting for nearly an hour on the jetty just waiting for the time for a bit about terns. Finally, at 2140, after all the fuss and preparation my 3 minutes was done and over with and what a relief. But that wasn't then end of the work. There was a mad rush to get the cameraman and his camera from one end of the island where he was filming the sunset to the other end where it could be sent across the airwaves to be added in the programme and once the programme was finished we had to get the whole crew of 12 plus a mound of equipment off the island and back to their luxury accommodation on the mainland. Finally, after many quad bike loads taken to the jetty and whispered conversations while clearing out the cottage (the researchers were in bed as they had fieldwork at 0330 the next morning) we waved off the last boat load at 0030 in the morning, the jetties light by head torches and the quad bikes headlamps for Colin to see his way.
It does leave you wondering why all the fuss but if it means that more people find out about the Isle of May and the issues linked to the NNR and then come and visit then it must be worth it. I will let you judge!  
But for us it is back to normal and full visitor boats again today. 

A midsummer arrival.

These guys come with a lot of kit.

Satellite dish amongst the gulls at the South Horn

Well I think they knew what they were doing?

Mike doing his bit.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the programme David, many thanks for efforts!! Cheers, Neil C