Wednesday, 21 December 2016
Wednesday, 14 December 2016
Thanks very much to our volunteers Jean and Ed who helped this morning with clearing up the car park. We raked up the fallen leaves, pulled up weeds and cut back brambles, all whilst enjoying the beautiful sunshine. Lizy
|Jean and Ed tidy the car park|
Monday, 12 December 2016
I brought a friend up to see the breeding seals at the weekend. We spent a good half an hour watching a pair of seals mating in the shallows, gently being wafted in and out by the waves. Soon after they had finished, another female seal started making advances on the male, swimming round him, calling and slapping her flippers on the surface of the water. Its all go! My pictures were taken from up by the car park too, but with not such a snazzy camera as Margaret's. Still, not bad though! Liza.
|Mating involves the male and female being coupled for up to 45 minutes. Its usually on land, but sometimes it occurs in the shallows.|
|Luckily seals can hold their breath for 20 minutes or so if they need to!|
Here's some great shots taken by one of our volunteers, Margaret, of some seal action on Petticowick beach. These were taken from the car park, admittedly with a zoom lens, but it gives you an idea of what can be seen from there, even just with the naked eye. Liza.
|A mother and her middle-sized pup - much communication is done through smell, sound and touch.|
|Females will guard their pups fiercely from anything they see as a threat - here another female was just getting a bit too close! Mostly its just snarling, posturing and a bit of flipper waving, but it can escalate.|
It's always a nice surprise at this time of year to arrive up at the clifftops and find them filled with seabirds! For the past week or so the Guillemots have been coming in from the sea to sit on the cliffs around Foul Bay in the early morning. They have always disappeared back out to sea, where they spend the majority of the winter, by lunchtime. Lizy
Thursday, 8 December 2016
A great wee film showcasing St Kilda, but with a worrying message. The good thing is, though, you can help. Definitely worth spending 15 minutes watching this. Liza.
Monday, 5 December 2016
We've had beautifully calm weather here for the last few days, and the perfectly flat sea conditions are ideal for spotting cetaceans. On Sunday a local birdwatcher spotted 24 Bottlenose Dolphins in the sea near Fast Castle, and then today we spotted a group of about 7 just off Foul Bay and the lighthouse. They were moving pretty slowly so I even managed to get a photo. The calm weather should hopefully last until the weekend so keep a look out if you're up on the cliff tops! Lizy
|Bottlenose Dolphins - Tursiops truncatus|