Tuesday, 20 August 2013

So what is there to see?

So what will visitors see on the island at the moment?
People still want to know about puffins and the news is that they are still here which is later than normal but they are hard to see well. There are maybe 200ish pairs still feeding chicks so if you sit down and wait long enough you will see a puffin zoom in off the sea carrying fish for chicks but they head straight down their burrows and then back out. Any loafing around is done on the sea and puffins are still seen well from the  boat.

The kittiwakes are still on the cliffs in places. There season hasn't been very good but some cliffs still have juveniles hanging around the nests. Look out for their distinctive black w shape that the have across their wings.

The shags have pretty much finished their breeding season so large numbers of youngsters and worn out adults are hanging around the jetties and rocky points.

But perhaps best of all are the gannets. Of course they don't breed on the island but on Bass rock 8 miles away and earlier in the season they don't come close to the island but that has all changed now. The fish have moved in closer to the island and the gannets have followed them so now you can sit at the cliff tops and watch gannet after gannet dive from a great height to catch the fish. There are not many things more spectacular that a gannet diving from high, as fast and direct as a hard flung spear.
So with all of that I think it is still worth a visit?  And I didn't even mention the fulmars, butterflies, wild flowers, lighthouses, priory ruins, migrant birds and wild isolation.

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