Monday, 8 May 2017

The Gannets have arrived back at St Abb's Head this year, and they look like they might be settling down to stay. As far as we know there are no breeding records for Gannets here, so there was great excitement last year when about 8 birds began to sit around on Foul Carr, near to the lighthouse, with one pair even starting to build a nest. Nothing came of this nesting attempt, but after visiting Foul Carr yesterday, following a tip-off from a volunteer, I was surprised to find at least 52 birds sat on top of the stack with more circling around the air above. Many of the pairs were performing courtship behaviours, like the pair you can see in the first picture with their bills raised to the sky. Some of the other residents of the stack were not entirely happy with their new neighbours, the Herring Gull in the second picture repeatedly dive-bombed the offending Gannet until it was finally driven off.  Only time will tell if they will be here to stay, we will keep you posted on further developments.  Lizy

Gannets, Morus bassanus, displaying on top of Foul Carr, surrounded by Guillemots, Uria aalge

Gannet, Morus bassanus, being attacked by a Herring Gull, Larus argentatus

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