After a mixed breeding season we are now near the end. The winter seems to drag on at times, but the summer just seems to fly by. Not that it has been must of a summer really. We had to contend with westerly winds day after day, rain, gales and sun. Mind the sunny days been few and far between.
The birds are the ones that have had to brave 70mph winds, pouring rain that's not only flooded the Puffins burrows but the wardens have had to put boxes over the Arctic Terns nests so the chicks don't get washed away. Yes we did lose a good few but if it wasn't for the wardens and the brave birds themselves we would have lost loads this year. When we did have the 70mph winds thank god it was westerly as if had been any another direction god only knows what devastation it would have had.
To be honest this must have been the worst summer for a long as I can remember for wind, rain and seas. I do love my job and the thing I love about it most a that everyday is different, but when your battling the tides, wind and rain it just knocks the stuffing out of you. As I'm writing this blog I can feel myself looking up to the sky a praying for some nice weather and not just a one day wonder but a steady run of it.
Ah fingers crossed he heard me.
Enough about the moan, back to the birds.
The Guillemots have almost gone with a few stragglers left. I noticed a few Guillemots the other day were still sitting on their eggs so I will have to keep and eye on them. They might have lost their first eggs and had to try again or maybe they are just late, but I'm not sure.
A lot of the Kittiwakes are now flying around but a lot of chicks are still in the nests. This is because the eggs were lost during the strong winds but because it was still early on they tried again and were successful.
The Razorbills have done very well and it seems the figures are up on last year.
The Puffins are a little down but its because of the rain flooding the burrows.
I could go on and on but until I get the true figures I'm just speculating, but over all I think we have had a very successful season.
As all the birds are now starting to leave the islands we have now noticed the Waders are starting to return.
We had over 100 Knots, 160+ Golden Plovers, 20 Turnstones and our first Purple Sandpipers today.
A big plus was a single Spoonbill on the Longstone Island. In fact all of the Waders were on the Longstone Island today. We do tend to see them other places around the Islands but most of the time it is the Longstone.
There are still thousands of Puffins on the Islands as well as Terns, Eiders, Razorbills and more but in a few more weeks they will be all gone.
Don't get me wrong as I love all the birds that arrive for the breeding season, but in some ways I like the it more when the birds are gone as we tend to have our eye's wide open as it won't be long before we have our first migrant passerines and that's when the fun begins.
Hopefully I will get the final counts for the year and I will post it.