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Back with the Swallows

27 April 2011

My arrival back on St Kilda coincided with arrival of swallows from Africa.  Spring has sprung on St Kilda and new born Soay lambs are bouncing everywhere. The sheep researchers are busy catching the lambs for ear tagging and then making sure they bond with their mothers.

Soay Lamb 2011

As they arrive on the jetty I ask visitors not to try and touch our other ‘cuties’ – young seals sun bathing on the slip way. They can be quite feisty and likely to bite if feeling threatened. But while saying that, one young Harbour seal likes to doze in the middle of the path from the jetty. Stretching and scratching like a itchy yoga expert he delighted passengers from an early cruise ship yesterday.

Atlantic Grey Youngster 2011

The birds are returning – not many Puffins or Guillemots yet but Fulmars and Kittiwakes are making their nest sites ready. Over in Glen Mór there seem to be bigger numbers of Great Skuas than ever. When they start nesting walking on that part of the island will prove challenging. 

Next week I will have a new colleague, Gina Prior. NTS has employed a Seabird and Marine Ranger and on arrival she will focus her attention on that side of our work.

We have new modern facilities in the refurbished Manse and the public have a new ‘convenience’ far superior to the old ablutions block that was shared with campers and work-parties.

Other than the accommodation change, it all feels quite familiar and St Kilda will no doubt give me many more tales to take away at the end of the season.

Paul



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