Thursday, 1 August 2013

Distracted wader counting

It is that time of year where we can get out to parts of the island that we have been able to reach since the seabirds have started breeding. It can be very disruptive to the birds for humans to appear in the middle of colonies so parts of the island become a no go zone. But come the end of July and the birds have finished their breeding cycle we can start to explore again. This is when we start our wader counts to get a comprehensive count for the island. Waders are starting to move south and though the isle of may is all rock it can accumulate quick a number of wading birds. Today we covered the whole island and came up with a total of 140 turnstone, 64 purple sandpipers, 1 curlew, 4 redshank, 1 whimbrel, 2 dunlin, 1 common sandpiper, 39 oystercatcher. In total over 250 waders is enough to be interesting.
 But as usual there are many distractions. The fledged shags and adults are hanging around on the Mars rocks at the far north of the island.
 North horn, Mainlight and Beacon all lined up on the horizon.


 The seal numbers are starting to build up with some coming back looking like zeppelins they are so fat from summer feeding.
 All dead birds found are checked for rings, here is Holly and Livvy checking a dead herring gull. The gull below was also found dead, killed by swallowing discarded fishing line. This one did have a ring that looked like quite an old one and not from the Isle of May so I will keep you posted as to where this gull might have originated from. But it is a shame when these birds end up dying such a death from the carelessness someone else.

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