Wednesday, 30 August 2017

An excellent article by our Head of Natural Heritage Policy, Stuart Brooks.  Definitely worth a couple of minutes of your time. Liza.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Nearly all of the seabirds have fledged from the cliffs here, with just one or two late shag nests, and a few fulmar chicks, which are the latest nesting of our seabirds species. In the pictures below you can see a picture of a massive fluffy chick from 4 weeks ago, and a picture of a chick ready to fledge, which I took yesterday. In the second picture you can see all of the baby fluff scattered around the nest with the chick preening it's mostly adult feathers. Once these chicks have fledged that will truly be the end of the seabird season here at St Abb's Head. Lizy

Young Fulmar chick at the beginning of August

Older fulmar chick at the end of August, ready to fledge

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Sunshine and showers on the head today, unpredictable weather for working outside in, but makes for interesting scenery. Lizy Smith

Double rainbow seen from foghorn

Monday, 7 August 2017

Thank you to all of the people who came out on our whale and dolphin watch yesterday. Although the marine mammals were rather scarce, there were excellent views of a beautiful leucistic/ albino kittiwake on the cliffs just below the watch. In the picture you can see the all-white bird with pink feet, next to both adult kittiwakes, and juvenile birds ready to fledge (with the black collar around the back of their necks). Unfortunately just as we were packing up at the end of the watch, a comotion was spotted out to sea, which turned out to be a great skua which had caught the white kittiwake and was drowning it. Sadly although the kittiwake put up a good fight in the end the skua won, and began to eat it. This is sad, but perhaps not unexpected. Even to the human eye the kittiwake was very noticeable, and so probably made an obvious target for the bonxie. Also leucistic birds can have weakened feathers, which could have affected the birds flight, and if it was an albino it may have had poor eyesight. Sadly this was probably a case of natural selection in action. To learn more, check out this website from the British Trust for Ornithology, where you can also report any birds with unusual plumage you see in your garden :     Lizy

White kittiwake on cliffs with other kittiwakes

Great skua next to the corpse of the white kittiwake it has just drowned