Monday, 15 April 2013

Spring into action...

Jack here; having arrived back a couple of weeks ago I thought I would keep you all updated on what’s about on the reserve at the moment.

It’s finally beginning to feel a little bit like spring here today. It’s been a tough winter for many of our seabird species, birds such as Guillemots and Razorbills spend the entire winter out on the open sea. Imagine that... 7 months on the open sea! They arrive back in early spring to breed. Our Auks (Guillemots, Razorbills and one or two Puffins) will come and go at this time of year, checking out old nest sites and enjoying the novelty of being on dry land.

The affect of unseasonal weather has meant that many of our seabirds have been slow getting started. Guillemots and Razorbills have just about become a permanent feature on our cliffs and Shags have begun building some impressive nests. The cliffs are a noisy place, with bird’s pair bonding and disputing territories. Keep a look out for the first eggs. Last year the first Guillemots were seen on eggs on the 14th April.

During the spring many migrant birds pass through the reserve on their journey north to breeding grounds. St. Abb’s Head provides the perfect stop-off point as it is a prominent headland. This year many of our migrant birds have been later than usual due to the strong north east wind (who wants to fly into that). In the last week we have been graced by Chiffchaff, Wheatear and White Wagtail and this morning provided the first records of Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Swallow.

A few signs of spring on the reserve...

Peacock Butterfly (first of the year)

Mute swan courtship display
Hare (keep an eye out for boxing)

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