Sunday, 5 June 2011

Has summer finally arrived?

The start of the last fortnight felt like it had an Autumn feel to it with gale force winds and horizontal rain to the vegetation beginning to go black from the salt spray. But in the last couple of days, we have had flat calm seas, very little wind and at 18c 'the hottest day' recorded since 2009. I just wonder, will it stay like this or will it be another 'British Summer'?
Is the hot weather here to stay?
As we wave farewell to spring and head in to summer, the last few scarce migrants has been passing through the island to get to there breeding grounds. The highlights being our resident Eastern Subalpine Warbler was joined by another of the western form where they could be seen chasing each other around the Obs plantation. Two Rosefinches were trapped one evening which delighted many guests and a juvenile Crossbill provided much interest. The first young Starlings of the year has decided to use the oppotunity of the warm weather to leave the stone walls leading our researchers in to their busy period.
Common Rosefinch

Crossbill - Juvenile
The seabird breeding season is well underway with the 1st Shag and Razorbill chicks being reported. It wont be long now until I will be able to hear Guillimot chicks whistling away on the cliff ledges and and cute fluffy Skua chicks walking around the heather up on the hill.
Common Guillimot
One late evening, a few of us headed to the Kirn 'O' Scroo in the north east of the island. The magnificent blowhole is an ideal place to hear the eerie calls of the Storm petrel under the cover of darkness. Sadly it was abit to gusty to hear them but there were several of them flying around which gave the false belief that they were bats. We did eventually catch two but we had to call it a night and as we started the short climb back up, A loud haunted howl of a Grey Seal began echoeing throughout the Kirn bouncing of the cliffs and blouders. That defintly makes your hairs stand up!
European Storm Petrel aka 'Stormie'

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