Since the last blog post Lesley took over for a couple of walks / sessions on the cliffs - thanks Lesley. She maintained the 100% success record of seeing Puffins! I was back and on the cliffs from 23rd, with walks on 23, 26 and 30th of June. Mixed weather (what a wet summer we are having), but lots of birds. Plenty of Guillemot and Razorbill chicks, with very many Kittewakes. Herring Gulls are (perhaps unfortunately) doing well, and a large number of predated eggs and chicks seen, there are a fair number of Herring Gull chicks on the cliff top - so be careful if visiting as the adults can be very protective and dive bomb intruders.
I was shown a photo of a Puffin chick ("puffling") yesterday - taken by a French birder, sitting in its burrow. There are reasonable numbers of Puffins around, and on Sunday and yesterday I had the closest approach I have ever had at Fowlsheugh of Puffins (see photographs). I would think that these are non-breeding birds that are exploring for potential nest sites for future years. Some of the birds had a brownish cast to their plumage, which may indicate their youthfullness.
Other birds seen have been Great Skua and regular large numbers of Gannets - investigating the feeding frenzy flocks. On the cliffs I have seen a cuckoo and Grey Wagtail (23/6), and there is currently a family of Whitethroats near the entrance gate, busily feeding in the long grass.
Despite the rain showers, I managed to see Ringlet and Red Admiral butterflies on the cliffs yeasterday, but still no sign of the Common Blues.
Bird numbers are beginning to decline on the cliffs, as the guillemots and razorbills start back to sea. Fulmars are still sitting tight, so there will be birds to see through July. Walks end soon, so if you want to take advantage sign up now!