|'Blue' Fulmar visits the islands|
|Puffins back in good numbers...|
|....and checking out nest burrows|
|Shags now nest building|
|Migrant Wheatear checking out the new picnic tables|
|'White' Wagtails on the move|
|Staple Island boardwalk under construction...|
|..and now finished and looking good|
Friday 26th April comments: It’s been another mixed week on the islands as the breeding seabirds have returned in numbers but have yet to settle as we still await our first eggs. Interestingly the contrast to last year could not be any different as this time last season we were celebrating our first Shag chicks hatching. This year, we still await our first Shag eggs…
However we expect the season to kick off any day now as copulating, nest building and pair bonding has been observed with several species getting in the swing of spring. So the advice is to get yourself out to see this, because it’s going to be good, very good.
On the migration front, spring migration has been slow although Swallows, House and Sand Martins have been moving through whilst Wheatears, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs have brightened up the dullest of days.
One of the highlights of the week included a ‘blue’ morph Fulmar which arrived amongst our resident Fulmars on Brownsman. ‘Blue’ Fulmars are a ‘northern morph plumage’ of our regular birds and are literally blue! The bird, the first spring ‘blue’ Fulmar on the islands in a decade showed well to a few rangers, briefly landing amongst our breeding Fulmars.
Other highlights included a Hooded Crow, passage Wood Pigeons and a classic Farnes rarity, a Mute Swan! The first Manx Shearwaters have also been seen passing north, always a welcome sight for the avid sea watchers in the team. It’s been slim pickings on the migrant front but it’s always a pleasure to enjoy the wildlife of the islands, a privilege we will never take for granted!
For the Ranger team, the hard work continues as we get ready to open both islands from the 1st of May. With boardwalks nearly built, sheds to be erected, concrete to be laid and birds to monitor, there really is no rest for the wicked! Onwards!!!