We have been braving the wet and windy weather this week and I have enjoyed experiencing South Stack at its wildest! Most of the auks have made their way down onto the sea and remarkably that is where they will spend the winter months untill the breeding season next year! We have been very pleased with their breeding numbers this year and look forward to their return. I was especially excited to see a puffin chick last week as it emerged from under a boulder where it had been hidden from view for the last month. Strangely the puffin chick is quite unlike the parent with dark cheek patches and a bill that is small and dark. It only reaches breeding age at around five years of age so it has a lot of growing to do!
Due to the rough sea and high winds we have also been excited to spot manx shearwaters from a close distance as they skim close to the water surface. We have also been delighted to watch as choughs and ravens use the strong winds to peform acrobats mid flight!
For those with an interest in the smaller creatures we have a Miraculous Moths event coming up! This will be held at the lower car park at South Stack on Friday the 13th of August at 9pm. This will be a great opportuntiy to discover and learn more about these wonderful night time creatures!
Good bye for now!
The 20 day old Razorbill chick Cymro left the nest site late last Wednesday evening under the cover of dark. Our dedicated volunteer Mo had been watching the live web cam that evening in anticipation of the young razorbill’s departure – and sure enough at about 9:50pm it made its way out from the safety of the rock crevice and out into the open! From that we are hopeful that it made its decent down the cliff face and into the water without any problems! From now, if all has gone well, the male will dutifully feed the chick for the next 8 to 10 weeks until the chick learns to fly, dive and feed for itself.. good luck little Cymro! Currently the female Razorbill has been guarding the site for next year.
The Puffins have been spotted with sand eels bulging from their bills so we are hopeful that their chicks are growing well! Come the end of this month we shall soon find out as they make their daring departures into the sea! Why not come to our daring departures event on Sarturday the 10th of July at 9pm and watch this amazing phenomenon with your own eyes?
This weekend we have been celebrating our brilliant seabirds with a puffin fun event. I took part in amusing our visitors by dressing-up in an enormous puffin outfit… which I willingly volunteered to wear! It was brilliant fun with many activities and competitions to enter. The café staff were the first up for getting their faces painted as bright orange tigers and pink butterflies…any excuse!
Our new volunteers this week have been fantastic. Despina was fortunate enough to get a very close encounter with an adder as she and Louise headed over towards Holyhead mountain on their day off. The adder was coiled in a circle and basking in full view when Despina came across it. All enjoyed their excitement over this find!
Today because of the wild windy weather the seabirds have been soaring in close view of the tower. Gannets, Fulmars and Kittiwakes have skimmed the waves in search of food as well as a few Manx shearwaters which I was very excited to see so close in! Other sightings this weekend have been the female peregrine; all be it a very quick glimpse as it flew past the window, as well as young choughs being fed by their parents. Of course, with all this chick activity, the opportunists will be making the most of it and we have seen plenty of Great Black-backed gulls patrolling the cliffs in search for a meal…
Here at South Stack everything is fighting for survival – and that is what makes it so amazing to watch!