Brimming with life

Two puffins rest on a grassy slope. One turns is head to the right, the other face left and flaps its wings above its head

This week we have been busy conducting our nest count, which involves searching every section of every island counting all the nests.

It’s exciting to know how many of each species are on the islands and once we have finished, we can compare the figures to last year’s totals. It’s interesting to see the patterns emerge from a set of data. It’s encouraging to see a species do well and you always hope that you are going to see success for all. Regrettably there are usually some which have fared more poorly than others but there is often also a balance of healthy and positive outcomes. On the light house cliff, the Shag chicks are getting bigger and for some larger families this has resulted in a few chicks spilling out of nests and they are now casually sitting beside their nests. Whilst doing our counts I noticed several Puffins carrying mouthfuls of Sand Eels back to their burrows which means that the burrows now protect sooty coloured pufflings!

It's hard work keeping ever growing chicks safe
Mother Shag sits on her nest perched on the cliff, her dark wings glisten with green highlights. Her wings guard her chicks which poke out from under her
It's hard work keeping ever growing chicks safe