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Seabird ranger on migration

7 April 2015

I'm back on St Kilda following a ten day work trip to the mainland and a one day stop over to refuel on Benbecula!  Actually, I'm only here for a couple of days to tackle a few specific jobs before heading off for the weekend but I'll be back soon enough for the whole season.   Unfortunately, the weather wasn't all that welcoming and with limited visibility the islands couldn't be seen until we were almost upon them. In fact, the only reason I knew we were close was due to the pilot's 'flight sat nav'!   The mist rose and fell throughout the day but the drizzle was persistent with some variety in the form of lashing downpours.Day 1 - Flight sat nav - Kilda up ahead

I came with a lot of kit including 33 individually wrapped nest boxes each containing several toilet rolls! Space on the helicopter is at a premium so it made sense to give a roll a temporary travel home. I'll write more about this (the boxes, not the toilet roll) later.Day 1 - bird boxes all wrapped up

On my way to the workshop I heard a high pitched bleat which could only mean one thing, lambing had started!  The lamb was obviously still very 'new' as it hadn't quite got the hang of its legs and fell over as it tried to shake raindrops off its fleece.  Poor thing, this weather is not great for such a little one and it looked thoroughly cold and miserable.  Day 1 - First lamb with mum and a soon to be annoyed tup

I stopped for a few minutes to watch it but in that time it seemed to regularly forget who mum was.  This tup didn't take too kindly to being charged towards at full speed and was irritated even more when the small bleating mini sheep tried to suckle.  Day 1 - Lamb annoying a tup


I had a fairly sizeable list of jobs I wanted to get through on my first day including a trip to the other side of the island to do some monitoring. No way was that going to happen with the mist just below the quarry. But I busied myself with other work and I will just have to hope the weather clears tomorrow so I can make the most of my short visit.  Day 1 - Base from the Helicopter



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St Kilda skua sighted at Skokholm