For those of you new to the site, I am the seabird and marine ranger and this will be my second season working for the NTS on St Kilda. Everything feels comfortably familiar but I am very excited about new challenges ahead.
In 2012, I will repeat several of the surveys I conducted last year (fulmars in Village Bay, guillemot diet studies, oystercatcher territories, great skua colour rings, Arctic skua breeding success) but I have a variety of new tasks to try and complete, if the weather will let me (including puffin productivity, Manx shearwater census, Leach’s storm-petrel nest boxes, kittiwake and fulmar productivity monitoring)... I plan on writing entries about all these aspects of my work, but they might be a bit delayed as I am 100% sure it is going to be a busy summer! Please keep checking back for updates.
I have only been on island a few days and the weather has been misty and wet...
...but I have already seen gannets diving in the bay, fulmars swooping by, a glaucous gull walking through the meadows and modest sized flocks of redwings. It is great that people on island keep an eye on the bird life and I have been told when the first merlin and bonxie of the year were spotted, that 31 swans spent the night in the Bay last week and puffins were rafting at sea with some seen ashore at Carn Mor.
At the moment I am busy preparing nest boxes for Leach’s storm-petrels, but I’ll tell you more about that in another diary entry...
(Seabird and Marine Ranger)