After watching their antics on our webcam over the past few weeks (and often viewing an empty screen) we can now finally report that the stars of our live Internet feed Mr and Mrs razorbills are well on their way to parenthood as Mrs razorbill has now laid her egg.
We will now be waiting in anticipation for their egg to hatch.
You can watch the razorbills for yourself from the comfort of your own home by visiting our website and view the seabird camera.
Where do I start ? well the signs of spring are ubiquitous, daffodils bursting with colour, snowdrops piercing through the dark soil in all purity, days are getting longer, birdsong is all around us - what a truly magnificent time of year - the light, colour and life that is spring is once more making a welcome return.
Whilst taking an early walk through South Stack a few days ago I was fortunate enough to spot several common lizards basking in the sun - these guys must have not long surfaced from a long hibernation - what a great sight and
for the first time ever I saw a slow worm at South Stack ! and for those of you who are not aware – a slow worm is a legless lizard :-)
Work on the new RSPB South Stack Visitor Centre is progressing at a rapid pace, with the 4th of April opening day fast approaching, all is on schedule and looking very impressive indeed.
As I type choughs will be attending nest sites preparing for the approaching breeding season, ravens and peregrines that have been displaying in the sky above South Stack will now be attending nest sites, Auks such as Guillemots, Razorbills and Puffins will soon be prospecting and attending breeding locations.
It’s only a matter of weeks until smaller passerines such as wheatears, swallows, house martins on migration will soon be making an appearance – most welcome and exciting times – the life in the cycle of life which we all take for granted begins in the spring and is almost upon us and I for one cant wait.
Come see and witness for yourselves the beautiful spectacle that is spring at South Stack –
see you all soon
Love peace & respect - Mark :-)x(-:
PS- Hi all - I had half a day holiday today - :-) - the sun was shining so I went on a walk to try and spot more reptiles at South Stack - I did!!- I spotted at least a dozen lizards and get this - a female adder just off the path not far from the Ellins Tower - she was a beauty and an unexpected find as only the male adder is usually seen out of hibernation this early in the season!!!! - I loved it - had a great day - I also saw guillemot, razorbill, shag, kittiwake, fulmar, raven, chough, and I think lots of lesser celandine flowers out all over the place - they looked lovely, bright and yellow petals shinning in the spring sunshine - the spring really makes me feel alive - wicked!!!!
update - Just to let you all know that the first wheatear of the South Stack season was spotted by our local 'birder'' - Ken Croft yesterday 14th March 2011. Spring has sprung !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope I will see you all soontake care - Mark xxxx
Hope I will see you all soontake care - Mark xxxx
We can confirm that we can definately see four Chough chicks in the Mousetrap nest (the nest you can watch online).
The 'Chough-lets' have grown enormously since they first hatched and the parents are being very diligent, keeping the nest tidy and feeding them regularly.
We are still waiting for names for our extended Chough family so please post your ideas!
The team here at South Stack are very excited to announce that the egg from Razorbill cam has hatched!!! Yesterday afternoon, at about 5pm we witnessed the first cracks starting to appear in the egg and this morning we arrived to see a fluffy little addition to the family! Mum (or dad!) started doing a lot of shuffling about and chattering and seemed to be checking the eggs progress often, as those first cracks started to appear.
The egg was laid on 2nd May and was incubated for 34 days. Mum and dad razorbill have worked really hard already and continue to do so now the chick has hatched bringing in sand eels today of which the chick ate 4 a few hours ago!! Where do they put it all?
Razorbills start heading back to South Stack Cliffs at the end of March to check out the nesting grounds and start laying late April, early May. Eggs are incubated for 30-36 days and the chick will spend 17-23 days with the parents at the nest site before heading out to sea with dad.
So, for the next 18 days or so we will have the pleasure of watching our little Razorbill chick as it feeds, grows and starts to explore its surroundings until it finally leaves the nest under dads watchful gaze. As I write this, little chick is tucked safely under a parent’s wing keeping warm. For the first couple of days it will spend most of its time there.
To keep a check on its progress, log on to our website at www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/s/southstackcliffs/ and see the live webcam link!
Before you go!! Help us choose a name for our Razorbill chick by sending your suggestions in to our blog, facebook or twitter pages at;
On Friday, we had an unexpected visit from Ian Daniells, a volunteer from Lower Moss Wood Wildlife Hospital in Cheshire. Ian had made the journey to release a Gannet that had blown off course in last week's high winds and ended up in Buxton, Derbyshire! Alongside the Gannet were two juvenile Herring Gulls which had been hand-reared before being collected by the Wildlife Hospital for release.
I was lucky enough to witness all three releases. The Gannet appeared to have suffered no harm from it's diversion and in fact needed some persuasion to leave the box it had been brought over in. Once out in the sea air the Gannet took it's time, looking around and streching it's wings. It was fabulous to see it so close by, I was especially impressed by the 'yellow' head which was both white and yellow at the same time with a sort of irredescence. After a minute the Gannet tucked itself on the far side of a fence before opening up it's glorious wings and flying off over the sea. A wonderful moment to witness and i'm sure it's moments like those that make Ian breathe a sigh of relief.
The Lower Moss Wildlife Hospital was set up by Ray Jackson, now an MBE for his work, and is situated in Ollerton near Knutsford. Ian has been a volunteer at the centre for the past four years and tell of many weird and wonderful visitors, including foxes, badgers, birds of prey and even a Frigate bird! Lower Moss Wildlife Hospital is run on donations from the public, with schemes such as "friends of Lower Moss Wood" to manage and conserve the woodland and an exclusive caravan club which helps to fund the upkeep also. To find out more about the hospital and surrounding woods, or if you want to visit, then please have a look at: www.lowermosswood.org.uk.
Shortly after we released the Gannet down the road at the top of the beach, we came up to the visitor centre to release the two Herring Gulls, one little fellow took to the skies immediately whilst the other took the opportunity to get to know it's surroundings on foot.
Everytime I see a Gannet fly by the lighthouse I now think of how this chappie is getting along and I sincerely hope the three of them have fitted back into the wild perfectly.
I am having issues uploading photographs onto here for you, so in the meantime please check out our facebook group on www.facebook.com/RSPBsouthstack.